Odaiba, Tokyo, October 14: Motor Sport Japan, the nation's largest gathering of racecars, drivers and associated excitement outside a race circuit, had its eighth running over the Japanese Grand Prix weekend in Tokyo's Odaiba waterfront district.
The only event featuring all of the country's major motor manufacturers, it is a huge draw for fans and families alike. In addition to the scores of booths that dot the perimeter of the venue, larger tents house static displays that, depending on the make, might hold anything from classic F1 machinery to championship-winning touring cars, GT machines, formula cars from a variety of disciplines to Dakar rally raid vehicles or alternative fuel/technology machines - and everything in between.
There's also the fan favourite; the open 'demo run' area, which, this year, among other attractions, featured Lotus F1 driver Romain Grosjean, deftly piloting a Renault Megane Sport round the course at breakneck speed whilst performing seemingly impossible feats - mostly thanks to his excellent handbrake technique. Other luminaries included FIA President Jean Todt, in attendance amongst a raft of drivers who were in Tokyo in preparation for next weekend's WEC Six Hours of Fuji.
The objective of Motor Sport Japan is to foster interest from younger, and as yet, uninitiated fans of motorsport and all things automotive. With a two-day audience that topped 100,000, the organisers seem to have reached their goals - and then some.