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Past Issues
701: Rugby World Cup
699: The Gospel According to Moses
697: Tokyo Metropolis League 4.0
695: The Lotte Revolution
693: Asian Cup Soccer
691: IFAF World Championship
689: K-1 Max
687: Snooker
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683: FC Tokyo�s UK Day
681: Rugby Dreams
679: 2007 Bridgestone Indy Japan 300
677: Opening Day
675: World Figure Skating Championships
673: J. League 2007
671: Tokyo Marathon
669: Toray Pan Pacific Tennis
667: New Year Sumo Tournament
663: FA Coaching Courses
661: K-1 Grand Prix Final
659: J. League comes down to the wire
657: All-Japan Kendo Championship
655: Volleyball World Championships
653: Japan F1 Grand Prix
651: Seiko Super Track Meet
649: PRIDE: Final Conflict Absolute
647: Top League rugby
645: FIBA World Championship
641: Tsuyoshi Shinjo and Kazuhiro Kiyohara
639: 2006 JOMO All-Star Soccer
637: World Cup alternatives
635: Japan vs. Italy
633: Japan Open Figure Skating
629: Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 Mile
627: 48th YCAC
625: Japan Baseball 2006
623: Auto Racing 2006
621: Xerox Super Cup and J.League
619: World Baseball Classic
617: Toray Pan Pacific Tennis
613: Comeback Kids of 2005
611: FIFA Club World Championship
609: Japan Cup Dirt and Japan Cup
607: Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie
605: Nabisco Cup Final
603: Japanese Golf Gets Friendly
601: AIG Japan Open
599: Harlem Globetrotters Still Trotting
595: A league of gentlemen
593: NFL tokyo 2005
591: Bayern Munich
589: Kawashima vs. Tokuyama—again
587: PRIDE battles on
585: Battle for the Bottom
583: Zico’s Long Hot Summer
581: High hopes for rugby
579: Searching for a Sumo Star
577: Follow the ponies
575: The Final Crush
573: Japan Pro Baseball
571: Big Changes for J. League
569: Xerox Super Cup
567: World Cup Qualifying
565: Toray Pan Pacific
563: Asia League ice hockey
560: Year-end fighting
558: J. League Championship
556: K-1 World Grand Prix Final
554: Dunlop Phoenix Open
552: Nabisco Cup Finals
550: Japanese Grand Prix
548: Asian Hockey League
546: K-1 World Grand Prix 2004
544: Top League rugby
542: J. League
540: Soccer: Europe vs. J League
538: Tokyo Metropolis League
536: Japan vs. Italy
534: Masamori Tokuyama
532: Japan vs. India
530: Miracle training
528: World Cup Cricket
526: Pride Grand Prix 2004
524: Yuriko Ito
522: Hideki Matsui
520: Soccer: 2004 Olympic Qualifiers
518: Japan Ice Hockey League
516: Ahn Jung Hwan
514: Toray Pan Pacific Tennis
512: The Tokyo Metropolis Football League
509/10: Diamonds and Tigers in 2003
508: Masami Ihara
506: K-1: 2003 World Grand Prix Final
504: Japan Cup
502: Pacific League All-Star Game
500: Nabisco Cup: Reds vs. Antlers
498: Tigers roar back
496: Samantha Head and Nikki Campbell
494: Top League rugby
492: Brendan Jones
490: J. League speeds ahead
488: The power of PRIDE
486: American forces
484: Star-spangled baseball
482: One Korean, one mission
480: Pearl bowl
478: The right touch
476: Taking the hard road
474: Tigress on the prowl
472: World Cup replay
470: Giants among men
468: Welcoming the MLB
466: Sumo spreads its wings
464: The battle for East Asia
462: Asian Invasion
460: Making a racket
457/458: 2002's ups and downs
456: On thin ice
454: K-1's Final KO
452: Real Madrid, Olimpia in clash of the champions
450: Golf's Young Turks tackle Taiheiyo Masters
448: Big guns back in Japan Series
446: The Zico era kicks off
444: Ryder Cup golfers do battle at The Belfry
442: Toyota Princess Cup 2002
440: 2002 J.League Stage 2
Sports
by Len Clarke

Auto Racing 2006

Get your motor running as Japan’s racetracks rev up the action

SUPER GT: Nissan’s fearsome Fairlady Z
©Len Clarke/RACENOW Japan

The 2006 racing season is almost upon us, and this year promises to be a stormer. With no fewer than 10 international-level tracks, the question is where and when, not if, enthusiasts should attend a race.

Formula One
The Suzuka Circuit, the traditional (though not original) home of the Japanese Grand Prix, will host this year’s event over the October 6-8 weekend. Often the championship-deciding round, the Japanese Grand Prix is renowned worldwide for featuring one of the most challenging circuits anywhere. Ticketing information is available through the circuit’s website at www.suzukacircuit.com

IRL (Indy Racing League)
Twin Ring Motegi, located two and a half hours north of Tokyo, again hosts what is currently the most popular form of open-wheel racing from the US. Scheduled for April 22, the Indy Japan 300 features some of the fastest cars you’ll see on a track anywhere. While some may argue that oval racing is not that exciting to watch, the speeds are simply staggering. And there’s no shortage of passing. Check www.indyjapan.com for Japanese info or the IRL’s official site at www.indycar.com

Rally Japan
After many years of trying, Japan finally landed its own round of the World Rally Championship in 2004. The event is held in the natural beauty of Hokkaido, with the Service Park and Super Special stages located in Obihiro. As spectator stages are held well away from the town—in some cases up to 100km away—plan on renting a car if you’re heading up. This year’s event takes over the first weekend in September. Rally Japan is hugely popular with Japanese fans, and domestic manufacturer Subaru is expected to be very strong. Check www.rallyjapan.jp/e for info.

Super GT
Super GT (known as the JGTC from 1994 to 2004) is Japan’s most popular motorsport series. Typically featuring 300km and 500km events, the circuit will add a 1,000km race at Suzuka August 19-20. The nine-event season kicks off March 18-19, also at Suzuka, and visits six tracks domestically as well as Malaysia’s Sepang Circuit on June 25.

For Tokyoites, the series comes to Fuji Speedway over the Golden Week holidays (and again in the first weekend of November) for one of the biggest annual race meets in the country. Diehard fans will not want to miss the 500km event, which regularly attracts over 100,000 spectators. Adding to the ranks of foreign drivers in the series—there were 15 in 2005—is Dane Jan Magnussen, competing in the spectacular Maserati MC12 (also making its Japan racing debut) for Team GOH, alongside 2004 Le Mans 24 Hours’ winner Seiji Ara. www.supergt.net/en

Formula Nippon
Japan’s top level open-wheel series, Formula Nippon has been the stepping-stone to Formula One for many top drivers, including Jacques Villeneuve, Ralf Schumacher, Pedro de la Rosa and, most recently, Yuji Ide. This season should prove to be a nail-biter as, for the first time in the series’ history, two engine manufacturers will battle for supremacy. Reminiscent of what’s happening in F1, Toyota and Honda are set to take each other on in their own backyards.
www.f-nippon.co.jp/indexe.html

All-Japan F3 Championship
Regularly billed as a support race to Formula Nippon events, the All-Japan F3 Championship showcases up-and-coming Japanese drivers against some of the hottest foreign talent in a category that is always very exciting to watch. This season, German driver Adrian Sutil (runner-up in last year’s F3 Euroseries) joins the crack TOM’s Toyota outfit, while Brazilian Fabio Carbone returns to Japan after a year away. www.j-formula3.com


Would you like to comment on this article? Send a letter to the editor at letters@metropolis.co.jp .

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