Japanese legend Toshi Arai will make his Intercontinental Rally Challenge debut on the Geko Ypres Rally this week at the wheel of a Subaru Impreza WRX, run by British firm Prodrive.
Arai, 43, is a regular on world championship rallies and is a two-time winner of the Production Car World Rally Championship (PWRC) title. He is using the Belgian event to build his experience of driving on Tarmac, the surface used for two rounds of this year’s PWRC.
Daniel Barritt, his British co-driver, said: “To be honest the result isn’t of major importance and we’ve got no real aspirations of where we’ll be at the finish. Toshi just wants to get a good feeling with the car on asphalt and get some experience of driving on Tarmac under his belt because he hasn’t done a Tarmac rally for quite a while. I’ve got an idea of the characteristics of the roads but we’ll both be doing the rally for the first time.”
Arai’s FIA priority seeding means he will carry the number six on his Impreza.
He prepared for the event with a shakedown test at the MIRA proving ground in central England today (Monday).