Rally Japan On The Finish Straight

Rally Japan On The Finish StraightFrom Rally Japan Media [ 18/08/2005 ].
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Rally Japan's Supplementary Regulations have been published and they include a slightly revised Itinerary, which now features a super long stage.

Kunneywa-Niueo, a 50km Special Stage is, as the name suggests, a combination of two stages that were run separately in 2004. Running them as one has enabled the Organiser to decrease the overall Leg time significantly. This reduction is of vital importance given that this year Rally Japan will be run almost one month later and therefore have less daylight hours.

Kunneywa-Niueo will be conducted twice during Leg 1 and accounts for almost two-thirds of that Leg's competitive distance. As such, drivers will no doubt be torn between using both opportunities to build a rally-winning lead in a single stage and the need to conserve their machinery. Fortunately, Rally Japan's roads are not hard on tyres.

In contrast to Leg 1's marathon test, Leg 2 features 12 mainly short stages. The longest, at 16kms, is the new stage, Menan. It twists and turns through a river gorge and should provide drivers with their stiffest challenge of the day.

Leg 3 returns to last year's high-speed stages northwest of Obihiro. These are fast and flowing, though with little room for error as Francois Duval discovered on the penultimate Panke-Nikorpet Special Stage in 2004.

The popular Satsunai Super Special Stage is largely unchanged from 2004 and again will be run at the conclusion of Legs 1 & 2 and in the middle of Leg 3.

Rally Japan is Round 13 of the World Rally Championship and Round 7 of the Production Car World Rally Championship. It will take place in the sub-prefecture of Tokachi from 29 September until 2 October.