Viso Finds Venezuelan Connection in Japan Tokyo Tour also Includes Visit to Helmet Maker to Say Thanks Tokyo, Japan (September 15, 2009) -- He was on the other side of the world, but E.J. Viso found a fellow Venezuelan athlete in Tokyo, Japan,...
Viso Finds Venezuelan Connection in Japan
Tokyo Tour also Includes Visit to Helmet Maker to Say Thanks
Tokyo, Japan (September 15, 2009) -- He was on the other side of the world, but E.J. Viso found a fellow Venezuelan athlete in Tokyo, Japan, as he prepared for this week's Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi.
The driver of the No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda Dallara attended a baseball game Sunday between the Seibu Lions and the Orix Buffalos, where he met Orix infielder and fellow countryman Alex Cabrera. The meeting was arranged by Hiro Kamura, advisor to the chairman of Arai, the maker of Viso's helmets.
"It was a fantastic experience going to a baseball game outside the U.S. or Venezuela," said Viso. "Japanese fans are very passionate and the game was very close so we had some nice singing and shouting by both sides' fans.
"I would like to thank my partner Arai for giving me the opportunity to live this unique experience and meet with Alex Cabrera."
A Personal Thank-You
On Monday, Viso delivered a much more personal thank-you to his helmet maker. But this visit was not just to say thanks for a baseball game, but for helping to save his life.
He visited the Arai factory and offices in Saitama, just outside Tokyo, to visit with the employees of the manufacturer of "the best helmet in the world." Viso was wearing an Arai helmet at the 2007 French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours when his car flipped over a wall in a horrific crash that left him with relatively minor injuries.
During his visit, Viso had his head measured to update his profile for the production of his helmets. He also assisted in a crash test demonstrating the resistance of the Arai products.
Not Flesh and Blood, Just Nuts and Bolts
Another highlight of Viso's Tokyo tour this week was a stop at Honda headquarters, where he met the engine manufacturer's most famous non-human employee.
He assisted with a demo of ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility), Honda's humanoid robot whose skills include greeting visitors, walking up and down stairs and coming when beckoned.
During his Honda visit, Viso also met with employees and presented Mr. Muramatsu, Manager of the Motorsport Division, with an autographed No. 13 hat.
Viso is in Japan preparing for the Japan Indy 300 this weekend. The race airs on Versus Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET.