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Wed 29 Nov 2023

Toyota chief cheers Rally Japan's impact

Events like this month’s FORUM8 Rally Japan will help secure the support of the next generation of fans – that’s the word of one of the event’s biggest fans, Akio Toyoda.

Speaking as chairman of the board of directors of Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyoda talked of how he started his journey as a motorsport fan and how this year’s FIA World Rally Championship finale would help continue that trend of introducing young spectators to the sport.


Talking about the series’ return to Toyota City, Toyoda said: “The most impressive thing was that we were able to use Toyota Stadium as one of the special stages.


“Being able to watch the top drivers driving up close, being able to drive in front of that many spectators – it was a rally full of exciting and amazing experiences for both fans and drivers. I believe the powerful performance of rally cars will stay in the children’s memories.


“Kalle [Rovanperä], Elfyn [Evans], Takamoto [Katsuta] and Jari-Matti [Latvala] became rally drivers as they were so close to rallying when they were kids. I also came to love motorsports because my father often took me to circuits in my childhood.


“If we continue this kind of rally event, I am sure that motorsport will become a culture in Japan and be more popular.


“‘To foster the culture of rallying through continuous improvement in a Japanese way’ and ‘to make the rally an essential autumn tradition in Japan.’ These are the things I wished for after Rally Japan last year. Rally Japan this year made all of these things come true.


“I would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make Rally Japan 2023 a great success.”