Team story in Rally Japan

Here we have many interesting story about the Rally Japan to tell you.


Though Sapporo hosted the rally for the first time this year, a lot of fans from all over Japan seemed to enjoy the whole event. Do you know the Sapporo Dome? In this dome, you can enjoy both baseball and football, though baseball matches are played on an artificial turf field, while football games are held on a natural grass pitch. What would you think makes it possible? The secret is the so called 'hovering stage' system. In fact, this dome is interesting as it has two entirely different faces that can switch dramatically. Can you imagine that the grass pitch slides into the stadium when a football game is going to be held, and that the pitch slides out of the stadium when the game is over? It is amazing! Some other stadiums in other countries of the world also feature similar sliding pitches, but only the Sapporo Dome has a fixed roof.
Prior to the rally week, the grass pitch was kept outside the stadium and even the artificial lawn was removed to reveal the bare floor. You may have seen that Toni set the fastest stage time on Saturday at the super special stage; that was set up on the shiny slick concrete, clearly evident in pictures or movies. At that time, all of us were really delighted with the applause and cheers from the approving spectators, celebrating Toni's great performance!

Back on the Friday, a party was held by a Japanese rally magazine 'WRC plus' in the evening. The drivers and the Director Inagaki attended the party from the Suzuki World Rally Team, to interact directly with fans. When a guest asked them how long it takes that Suzuki reach the podium, Toni said "You will see in a few days" and P-G replied "The car is getting better, so we will achieve it maybe within a year'. Every team member is giving their best effort to make it!
     

A lot of fans came to our site in the service park. Some dressed up for Halloween and cheered us with signs. Another gave P-G a special handmade muffler as a gift. Many yellow 'Suzuki' flags waved when the SX4 WRCs came into and went out of the tent. All the team members enjoyed the heartwarming hospitality of the many Japanese fans.
     

On this local event, a number of Japanese team staff members came to Sapporo. Also the catering staffs were Japanese, so we had some of the typical Japanere dishes, such as miso soup, curry and so on during the rally. On Saturday, we kept the 43rd birthday of Ian Evans, who is a mechanic for P-G's car.

At the back of the tent, a strange car attracted the stares of passers-by. The SX4 sedan has its steering on the left side unlike normal domestic cars in Japan. In fact it is made for China. You can see four digit Chinese character emblem on its rear gate! The car was driven by the drivers as a recce car and used as a mean of transportation. Other staff members used SX4s borrowed from NIPPON rent-a-car. The company was also an official supplier for the Rally Japan.

Here are some snapshots at the manufacturer's booth. Japanese manufacturers had set up spectacular booths in the service park. Suzuki displayed SX4 WRC show model and commercial models of the Swift Sport, SX4 and Splash. There were also shops selling official goods of the teams. As you will know, team replica jackets and fleeces are always popular items at rallies held in winter. Maybe we can see even more fans dressed in yellow next year!


 

 

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