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WRC - Red carpet welcome in Tokyo ahead of Toyota City-based Rally Japan

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The red carpet was rolled out in Tokyo on Friday as the first crews to arrive ahead of next week’s FORUM8 Rally Japan (16-19 November) were greeted in Tokyo by Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Masahito Moriyama.

2023 Rally Japan launch event Tokyo - group photo

In attendance at the event at Tsunamachi Mitsui Club in Minato-ku, Tokyo, were all three team principals along with Hyundai pairing Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe, M-Sport Ford’s Adrien Fourmaux, Petter and Oliver Solberg as well as local hero Takamoto Katsuta and his Toyota Gazoo Racing team-mate Elfyn Evans.
Prior to being invited to a buffet dinner by Moriyama on behalf of the Japanese government, the drivers and event guests attended a carbon neutral forum, outlining the industry-leading work being done by the WRC in the sustainability sector. Speaking via video, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem highlighted the championship’s environmentally-conscious approach with a switch to hybrid Rally1 vehicles and the usage of fossil-free P1 Performance fuel.

Also speaking was P1’s CEO Martin Popilka who enlightened attendees on the future of synthetic fuels and how they can already be used in combustion vehicles with no change in the set-up to the cars. FORUM8 Rally Japan 2023 Commision’s vice-president Takane Kosaka then spoke of the work being done by the rally to operate in an environmentally sound manner.
“It was a very nice event in Tokyo today and we could see how important is the rally in Japan,” expressed Thierry Neuville. “It was also important to highlight the efforts done in our sport to find environmental solutions for our future mobility.”

Saturday was dedicated to PR activities for the WRC crews with Tokyo-based journalists and broadcasters and concluded in style with a meeting with the fans and an animated electric go-kart race at the City Circuit Tokyo Bay.

Watch the photo gallery here.