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They came from Japan (to the ERC)

2020-04-03T13:45:02+02:00April 2nd, 2020|2020|

Several Japanese drivers have competed on FIA European Rally Championship events. Here are six.

Hiroki Arai
After a one-off outing on Rally Estonia in 2016, Arai returned to European championship action in 2019 for an ERC1 Junior campaign at the wheel of a STARD-entered Citroën C3 R5 as part of a development programme for Yokohama tyres. He impressed with his speed.

Toshi Arai
Hiroki’s legendary father Toshi is also no stranger to the ERC, winning the Tour de Luxembourg in 2000 driving a Subaru Impreza World Rally Car. An ERC Production Cup programme followed in 2013 when he landed a victory and two third place finishes, plus an overall podium on the Sibiu Rally in Romania.

Takamoto Katsuta
Firmly established as part of Toyota’s factory World Rally Championship line-up, Katsuta’s early career took him to the ERC-counting Rally Estonia in 2016. An opportunity to build his experience ended abruptly when he rolled into retirement on the opening stage of leg two.

Suguru Kawana
Kawana graduated to the ERC as the 2013 Japanese JN2 class champion. He made four European championship starts between 2014 and 2015 driving a Ford Fiesta R2. He’s since gone on to compete in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, starting two rounds in 2019 with CUSCO Racing.

Fumio Nutahara
Once a Production Car World Rally Championship title contender, Nutahara made two appearances on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, once in a Mitsubishi, once in a Subaru.

Ryo Seya
Like his compatriot Nutahara, Seya’s ERC experience comes from Barum Czech Rally Zlín, which he contested for the first time in 2019, placing P74 overall in a Peugeot 208 R2.