"Tokyo Motor Show 2003 Motor Sports Grand Prize"
AWARDED TO MITSURU SUGAYA
- November 5, 2003
The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc. (JAMA; Chairman: Yoshihide Munekuni) awarded the "Tokyo Motor Show 2003 Motor Sports Grand Prize" to novelist Mitsuru Sugaya and the "Special Prize" to the village of Kamitsue in Hita-gun, Oita Prefecture, which helped to restore the "Autopolis" circuit in Kyushu. The prizes were presented by JAMA Chairman Munekuni on the Special Stage at Makuhari Messe, Chiba during a symposium on "The Motor Sports Lifestyle" that concluded the Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday, November 5. Mr. Sugaya received ¥500,000 in prize money; Kamitsue, ¥300,000. Mayor Ryunosuke Takahata accepted the prize on behalf of the village.
The "Tokyo Motor Show 2003 Motor Sports Grand Prize" is awarded by JAMA for the first time this year. The prize was created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Tokyo Motor Show slated for 2004, which dates back to the "1st All Japan Motor Show" of 1954. Recipients are "people and organizations who have contributed to the popularization of motor sports among the general population." Racers and teams are excluded if they are still competing professionally. JAMA plans to continue to award the prize at each subsequent passenger car and motorcycle show.
Chairman of the JAMA Traffic Affaires Committee headed the Selection Committee, a group of five people of that included representatives of the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) and the Motorcycle Federation of Japan (MFJ), author Nozomu Hayashi as an outside expert, and a director from JAMA (with responsibility for the Tokyo Motor Show). Nominees underwent rigorous screening before the final decision was made.
Mitsuru Sugaya, the recipient of the "Tokyo Motor Show 2003 Motor Sports Grand Prize," was born September 20, 1950. He is currently 53 years old and is from Shizuoka Prefecture. A noted manga artist and novelist, Mr. Sugaya has been running an on-line forum on motor sports since well before the spread of the Internet. In October he published the novel "Kyokujitsu no Grand Prix," a racing-oriented historical fiction that has won wide acclaim.
The village of Kamitsue helped to rekindle Motor Sports in Kyushu by organizing a third sector project under the leadership of the village government and with the support of residents. The project provides assistance for the restoration of "Autopolis," a Kyushu racing circuit that had fallen into financial difficulties.