Asia Cup returns to the Montre tarmac

This weekend’s 11-12 June running of Japan’s ‘Monterey’ Montre Rally brings a new dynamic to the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with competition held exclusively tarmac.

Based at the Gunma Safari Park in Tomioka City, central Japan, the event’s new home brings the headquarters, service park and super special stage together – making it a spectator friendly package.

Last run as an international event in 2019, it returns to the APRC calendar as the second round for the Asia Cup, with competitors qualifying for entry to the season’s title deciding finale.

Entries in the international FIA APRC class include past Formula One driver Heikki Kovalainen navigated by Japanese co-driver Sae Kitagawa in a Rally Team Aicello-prepared Škoda Fabia R5, New Zealanders Mike Young/Amy Hudson (CUSCO Racing Toyota CH-R), and the two Japanese crews of Satoshi Imai/Fuyu Takahashi (AKM Motorsport Citroën C3 R5) and Yasushi Aoyama/Noriko Takeshita (CUSCO Racing Subaru WRX-STI).

Competition starts on the Saturday and will cover six special stages comprising a repeated morning/afternoon loop. Sunday’s four special stages include the double-run 0.76km super special stage ‘Zebra’ at the Gunma Safari Park Car Park. The event’s final stage: Grandma Kimura of 21.92km will be a sting in the tail, before the winning team can be crowned at the ceremonial finish from 2:40pm.

Click here for live tracking of the competitors.