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Suzuka set to escape the worst 09 Oct 2004

Olivier Panis (FRA) Toyota TF104B.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Suzuka, Japan, 8 October 2004

As reported, the practice, pre-qualifying and qualifying sessions scheduled for today have all been cancelled at Suzuka due to the imminent arrival of Super Typhoon 22.

Right now the east coast of the country is suffering the first effects, with very heavy rain and very high winds. The public have been warned not to go to the circuit at all today, though it is open to teams and all of them have sent personnel to make sure that their valuable equipment is safe.

The ‘good’ news is that the typhoon appears to have swerved off its Suzuka trajectory at the last moment and is now headed instead for Tokyo. The track is in good condition and there is weak sun, and the rain is easing. There may be some more later, but it now appears certain that pre-qualifying, qualifying and the race, the penultimate round of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship, can proceed as scheduled tomorrow.

Pre-qualifying is due take place at 0900 local time (0000 GMT) on Sunday morning, followed by qualifying at 1000 (0100). The race itself will begin at 1430 (0530) as originally planned.

A typhoon is a strong tropical cyclone. A tropical cyclone is the generic term for a non-frontal, synoptic scale, low-pressure system over tropical or sub-tropical water with organised convection (ie thunderstorm activity). In the northwest Pacific Ocean such cyclones become typhoons when their wind speeds reach sufficient strength.