【Day3】15 Oct 2017
Which team will take lead in rainy second half ?
|This four-day rally entered its second half. According to the forecast, it would rain again today. It hadn't started raining yet at the start of the rally, but by the time the entrants arrived at the first stamp point of day three, Komaba Park, it began to sprinkle over the venue.
The party left the Asama Prince Hotel at 7 a.m. After finishing a PC competition on a prefectural road in Nagano prefecture, they headed to Komaba Park. Despite the early hours of the morning, many spectators gathered at the venue to cheer on the entrants. As the first car arrived, a brass band performance and cheerleading by the local students began, creating a gorgeous atmosphere. The entrants received a stamp sheet with a smile, then competed in an open PC competition at the same venue.
Another competition was held at the Asama Saku Driving School just next to Komaba Park. The entrants took on a consecutive competition set in the entire practice course of the school. In the second half of the rally, the intention of each team becomes clear, for example, entrants who were not able to perform well in the first half aim to make up for it to win, and those who achieved good results want to maintain it. The entrants seemed to be enjoying mind games too at breakfast and dinner.
Fatigue began to tell on both the entrants and the cars in the second half. The rally this year was tougher than previous years because it had been raining on and off. The entrants put a top priority on running the whole distance safely and headed to the finish line in Hakone. The route they took was a beautiful winding road going through Yatsugatake and Mt. Fuji., in which leaves started changing colors. It was a long drive of over 300 km, yet never bored the entrants.
In the rain, many spectators cheered on the entrants at each point as well as along the street and the entrants were deeply moved by the cheers. Even when they got discouraged by the weather or car trouble, meeting local people inspired them and lifted their spirits.
As many as seventeen PC competitions were scheduled on day three but seven of them were canceled due to the rain, which would be a little unfavorable for entrants who were aiming to achieve good result today to win. Every entrant was already focusing on tomorrow's rally as twelve PC competitions were scheduled.
On the final day, the entrants will run approximately 250 km from Hakone Town, Kanagawa prefecture to the finish line in Meiji Shrine in Harajuku, driving along mountains and the sea, then to Tokyo. The mechanics were working on the cars until late at night again so that the entrants could run one more day safely.
（text & photo：Mika Iwamoto）