Following a recent meeting of the World Motor Sport Council important amendments were made to the Regional Rally Championship Sporting Regulations to encourage more competitors to participate in the 2013 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship and other regional rally championships.
Cars with national homologations will now be permitted to take part and score points, subject to final approval by the FIA. This should allow cars such as the Japanese-prepared version of the Toyota 86 to enter the APRC.
In addition, the homologation period for certain cars has been extended to 31 December 2016, subject to safety requirements. The full list of cars with an extended homologation period will be published on the FIA website and includes various models of Subaru & Mitsubishi cars, extending their ability to be used in the APRC.
The FIA has also approved a new award, the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Production Cup for Drivers and Co-Drivers giving further encouragement to Group N competitors. The Production Cup is expected to have a big impact on the mid-field and has already encouraged interest from Subaru Japan who are keen to see the brand back in the APRC.
In addition and in recognition of the growing importance of the two-wheel category, all APRC events will have a separate finish podium for the top three 2WD drivers. Proton dominated this and the Junior class in 2012, however in 2013 Toyota are looking to participate with their new Yaris R1B having tested the car at APRC Rally Hokkaido.
The 2013 Asia Pacific Rally Championship starts in May, with New Zealand’s Rally of Whangarei then heads to New Caledonia, Australia, Malaysia, Japan and the China Rally in November. A seventh event in 2013 is the welcome return of the Thailand Rally in December, although that qualifies for Asia Cup only.