The opening ceremony for the 13th round of the WRC, Forum 8 Rally Japan, was held at Toyota Stadium on 16 November. After a performance by the Aichi Prefectural Police Band, a special film was played to open the event, followed by a spectacular sound and light performance and fireworks to celebrate the start of Rally Japan.
Each driver then entered the track. After a ‘Meet the Crew’ session for the media, where each driver was introduced, followed by remarks on their aspirations for the event.
Takamoto Katsuta, who finished on the podium in third place at last year’s event, commented on the shake-down: “At first we didn’t have the right settings and the balance wasn’t right, but then we made adjustments and it got better in the second and third runs, so I don’t think it will be a problem if it’s dry.” He added, “The track surface was dirtier than last year during recce, but they seem to have cleaned it up afterwards, so I think the situation will change depending on how much rain we get. We will aim for a better result than last year.”