Japan likes to take a different approach when it comes to what prizes it offers the winners of motor races. Being a very sociologically conscious country means that the “unit” comes before the “individual” and this ideal is very entertaining when you see what the individual winner Helio Castronevez received from the group at last years Motegi Indy race!

There was some really cool stuff awarded besides the thick pay packets. Things like this Samurai helmet and mantle…

…and a huge Panasonic Viera BluRay home theater system.

But then it started to get really interesting ( odd? ) with Castroneves even getting a big fat vat of premium grade Japanese Sake to go with his big fat paycheck for winning the race!

Traditional Japanese rice wine I can understand but I’m not sure how thrilled he was with an honorary bowling pass for the year…

A giant… bottle of Coke Zero? Where’s the Mentos!?

And then the years supply of Karage Kun ( a.k.a Fried Chicken Boy ) from convenience store Lawson was awarded. (KarageKun chicken bites ROCK by the way – get the Red Hot version)

Wait, what? Indy Car Drivers get a years supply of fried chicken for winning a race?

If ever there was a reason to win, this is it!

There was no doubting which prize, above cash, samurai helmets and fried chicken that Helio was most stoked to receive…

That’s right! It wasn’t the trophy but the years supply of POCKY in any flavor he wants!

What could possibly top that prize?

On reflection and not wishing to draw comparisons between one of the fastest motor sports in the world with one of the lowest paid, but when you consider that Dario Franchitti in the following shot here made a cool $50,000 USD from finishing second, doesn’t that make you wonder why “Drifters” for example, even the very best Japan have ever had to offer only scrape together at best 2k or 3k for winning an event outright?

Is there balance in that for you guys?

From my perspective, it’s not as if the sport of drifting is “poor” at the higher levels; there’s plenty of money involved both on the surface and within the game but where is it all going if the checks getting cut are so visually miniscule?

Worth a thought… – The Ultimate JDM Experience

Words and Photos – Adam Zillin


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *