AUTO MESSE WEB(オートメッセウェブ)


Rallying Through the Scenic Routes: Unveiling the 2024 All Japan Rally Championship

posted at:

TEXT: 兼松由奈(Kanematsu Yuna)  PHOTO: 岩田純治(IWATA Junji)/KOSUKE.A

A tumultuous start

This first round for Team Kanematsu (provisional) turned out to be a very difficult rally. When the team did the pre-rally run on Friday, the road surface of the forest road stage was a mixture of mud and gravel, and the road width was quite narrow ……. The famous “Ganpo” forest road, which was said to be difficult, seemed better.

The first day finally arrived, and as we nervously headed for the start, expecting SS1 to be a difficult stage ……, to our surprise the race was red-flagged. It was a turbulent start. After that, there were beautiful road surfaces such as the circuit course at Spa Nishinoura and Takejima in the gallery stage, but there were traffic jams in the liaison and late arrivals in the time control, and we were all in a hurry. We ended the first day with “no ride”.

The second day’s stage consisted of two rather dirty and narrow 10km-plus forest roads. Although we were blessed with good weather, we had never experienced such dirty forest roads and could barely stay on the road.

“How can I go faster ……!?”

And worrying all over the place. In SS12 in the afternoon, he got to grips with the road surface a little and improved his time, but there were a few near-misses as he dropped his rear tire into the gutter a few times. Momo Tsukishima also seemed to be struggling and it was a difficult rally for the two of us to keep in touch. The reason we were still able to finish the rally was because OZ’s wheels were sturdy and had no distortion and no air leaks. I realized that lightness is important when driving fast, but rigidity is also important in rallies.

The opening round of the season was a test of experience and responsiveness so far

This year’s event saw 90 entries and a whopping 27 retirements. With cars retiring not only on the dirty forest roads but also on the high-speed Mikawa Bay Skyline, our result was 6th/7th in the JN4 class. With traffic jams and a tight schedule, the opening round of the season was a test of our experience and ability to cope. We were happy to have so many people cheering us on in such circumstances.

It was impressive to see so many local people cheering us on, with people of all ages standing along the roadside waving flags and cheering us on at the entrance to the forest road. It was not my favorite road surface, but I will definitely take revenge next year!

translated by DeepL