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GP Week : Issue 127
One of the all time greats of the rally media died recently, the French-resident Japanese photographer Tamotsu Futamura, who passed away with a heart attack last week. He came to prominence in the ‘70s as a most innovative and creative recorder of the rally scene, not only behind the lens of cameras, but also in other ways. One of his first media projects was to go to Australia to record the sounds of rally cars in the forests at night! As a photographer he was immediately noticed for seeking and capturing the artistic side of the sport, using extreme lenses to capture what others never noticed. Some of his best-known images were taken on the Safari Rally but probably this was not Tamotsu’s favourite event – that was the Monte Carlo Rally. The 1972 Monte was the first big rally he had covered, and he discovered the real lure of rally photography. He explained the special challenge: “In rallying, you only get one chance to take each shot. It is so much more difficult than racing!” His efforts opened the doors to a new generation of rally photography work. Vale: Tamotsu Futamura The introduction of financial restructuring promises to save the Swedish world championship rally, which has suffered badly from under-financing, is expected to re-vitalise the event. Under plans announced last week, European funding assigned to the development of businesses in the Hagfors region, which is already effectively the epicentre of the event, will enable Hagfors community to take a 45.9% interest in the ownership of the event, and the Swedish federation another 45.9% Local clubs who have been traditionally the owners of the event retain the remaining shares. The 2011 event ventured into neighbouring Norway, helping to fulfil the FIA’s newly declared wish for more countries to be involved in the WRC, and recently it had been expected that one out of the three days of the 2012 event will take place cross-border. It is expected this support will continue. Swedish authorities say the new arrangement will provide the chance for seeking a far more significant level of commercial support from sponsors than before. Swedish Rally restructured WRC NEWS >>