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2014 JRC Round 1 - Tour de Kyushu in Karatsu


Takeuchi/Ando in the BRZ places top podium in the JN-4 Class!




     The season opener of the 2014 season JAF All Japan Rally Championships (JRC) labeled "Tour De Kyushu 2014 in Karatsu" took place April 12-13th in the Saga Prefecture, Japan. The ceremonial start was held at the Karatsu Shrine where the comtenders were blessed with safety while kicking off the race in a cultural environment.
     This season's team Cusco combination consists of Sumiyama/Yasui and Muta/Kase both teams in a Subaru WRX STi. Furthermore, in the JN-4 Class a young and veteran team combination was formed between Takeuchi/Ando respectvely, in the Subaru BRZ.

      The weekend rally consists of a total 69.35km course with 16 stages of full tarmac surface runs including the service park "gallery stage" similar to the previous season.





JN-6 Class 5th Place ・Overall Rank 5th Place
Yuya Sumiyama / Hiroshi Yasui  CUSCO ADVAN WRX-STI

     In concurrent participation this season with the APRC and JRC rally, Yuya Sumiyama enters competition with full force by solidifying his tarmac driving and machine setting. The opening stage featured three 10.54km long rally runs which is considered of great importance since these stages are what makes or breaks the season. Sumiyama explodes with his newly acquired tarmac driving skillset and manages to grab the 5th best time and 3rd at the gallery stage. Day 1 top finishers ends with Arai, Nutahara, Katsuta, and Sumiyama in 4th.

      Day 2 consisted of two loops of the new (7.84km) Shioki stage combined with a low velocity technical stage (3.83km) and two of the 6 stage gallery area for a total of 24km. Rain had fallen most of the day, categorizing this race as wet condition, with Sumiyama falling short of a good time despite his wet condition vehicle setting. However his perseverence pays off at the end when he clocks in the best timew at the gallery stage. Ranking in at an overall 5th place, Sumiyama and Team Cusco remain content with the results since afterall, this was his first time in this type of rally. Not a bad start to a promising season. he Day2

(Left) Driver: Yuya Sumiyama
(Right) Co-Driver: Takahiro Yasui




JN-6 Class 8th Place / Overall Rank 8th
Shuhei Muta / Naoki Kase CUSCO ADVAN WRX-STI

The 2011 Cusco Racing Proton Satria Neo driver and class champion Shuhei Muta returns this season in a Subaru Impreza WRX STi. This second attempt at Karatsu seemed unsuccessful when the 1st day ended with mediocre results, landing him in to 9th place.

Day 2 Muta proceeded to change up vehicle settings to favor the wet condition. The highlight includes the 3rd best time in the second run of the Shiraki SS13 to finisha t an overall 8th in the class. This rally served a vital role in Muta's career as his participation credited priceless experience to his driving skill. Muta as his participation

(Left) Driver: Shuhei Muta
(Right) Co-Driver: Naoki Kase




JN-4 Class Winner / 24th Overall
Genki Takeuchi / Sadatoshi Ando CUSCO ADVAN BRZ

     A new class was introduced for the 2014 season called the RPN class, where it allows entry into the rally for 2006 model year and older JAF registered vehicles. Modifications that are permitted in this class are clutch, LSD, suspension, brake pads, tires, and wheels. Rollcages will be mandatory. The rules concerning the modifications are not so wide in range so an entire vehicle can be modified and entered in to competition with minimal cost. The Cusco Racing Subaru BRZ has been designated to compete in this RPN Class with a fresh new young driver named Genki Takeuchi piloting the vehicle. Coincidentally, a total of 5 machines made up only of 86 and BRZ had entered this class. Veteran and young drivers along with a famous actor Sho Aikawa were enlisted as participants in this RPN Class which promoted plenty of buzz.     

     The rally race emphasized on the close battle between Takeuchi and Hiratsuka where each of their times were only off by a mere fraction. However, Takeuchi experienced a collision at the embankment in SS7 (4.25km) where he was left 6 second behind over the first place Hiratsuka. The vehicle did not suffer any major damage but ended the first race day in an 8 second deficit behind the first place Hiratsuka.

     Conditions changed to wet pavement for day two, where Takeuchi aced a best time at the initial stage (7.84km) to acquire a 2 second lead in the race. With another close and heated battle between the two, Takeuchi finishes the race in top place by only a 1.6 second lead. For team Cusco Racing, winning this new class showed immense victory as the first ever Subaru BRZ chassis to take podium next to the reigning Toyota 86.

(Left) Driver: Genki Takeuchi
(Right) Co-Driver: Sadatoshi Ando



Round 2 of All Jaan Rally Championships (JRC) Rally will take place in the Aichi Prefecture as the『Kumakougen Rally』 on May 3-5, 2014.




all photo by Mitsuru Kotake



More Info:

Tour de Kyushu 2014 in Karatsu Homepage


Results Page