Fuji Speedway
Fuji.svg
LocationOyama, Suntō District, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
Time zoneUTC+09:00
Coordinates35°22′18″N 138°55′36″E / 35.37167°N 138.92667°E / 35.37167; 138.92667Coordinates: 35°22′18″N 138°55′36″E / 35.37167°N 138.92667°E / 35.37167; 138.92667
Capacity110,000
FIA Grade1
OwnerToyota Motor Corporation (2000–present)
Mitsubishi Estate Co. (1965–2000)
OpenedDecember 1965
Major eventsCurrent:
FIA WEC
Fuji 6 Hours (2012–2019, 2022)
GT World Challenge Asia (2017–2019, 2022)
Super GT (1993–2003, 2005–present)
Super Formula
(1973, 1975–1979, 1982–2003, 2005–present)
FRJC (2020–present)
Former:
Formula One
Japanese Grand Prix
(1976–1977, 2007–2008)
Grand Prix motorcycle racing Japanese motorcycle Grand Prix (1966–1967)
Asian Le Mans Series
(2013–2018)
2020 Summer Olympic Games
World Sportscar Championship (1982–1988)
4th and current configuration (2005–present)
Length4.563 km (2.835 miles)
Turns16
Race lap record1:18.426 (Brazil Felipe Massa, Ferrari F2008, 2008, F1)
3th configuration (September 1987–2003)
Length4.400/4.470 km (2.734/2.777 miles)
Turns12
Race lap record1:17.025 (United Kingdom Andrew Gilbert-Scott, Lola T93/50, 1994, F3000)
2nd configuration (1975–August 1987)
Length4.359/4.410/4.441 km (2.709/2.740/2.759 miles)
Turns8 (10 Turns from 1984 to August 1987)[1]
Race lap record1:14.300 (South Africa Jody Scheckter, Wolf WR1, 1977, F1)
Original Circuit (1965–1974)
Length5.999 km (3.728 miles)
Turns15
Race lap record1:32.570 (Australia Vern Schuppan, March 722, 1973, F2000)
Websitewww.fsw.tv/,%20https://www.fsw.tv/en/

Fuji Speedway (富士スピードウェイ, Fuji Supīdowei) is a motorsport race track standing in the foothills of Mount Fuji, in Oyama, Suntō District, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. It was built in the early 1960s. In the 1980s, Fuji Speedway was used for the FIA World Sportscar Championship and national racing. Originally managed by Mitsubishi Estate Co., Fuji Speedway was acquired by Toyota Motor Corporation in 2000. The circuit hosted the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix in 2007 after an absence of nearly 30 years, replacing the Suzuka Circuit owned by Honda.[2] After Fuji Speedway hosted the 2008 race, the Japanese Grand Prix returned to Suzuka for races from 2009 onward. The Super GT Fuji 500 km race is held at the racetrack on Golden Week.[3]

Fuji Speedway has one of the longest straights in motorsport tracks, at 1.475 km (0.917 mi) in length.[4] The circuit has an FIA Grade 1 license.[5]

History

1963–79: F1 launches in Japan

Fuji Speedway Corporation was established in 1963 as Japan NASCAR Corporation. At first, the circuit was planned to hold NASCAR-style races in Japan. Therefore, the track was originally designed to be a 4.000 km (2.485 mi) banked superspeedway, but there was not enough money to complete the project and only one of the bankings was completed. Mitsubishi Estate Co. invested in the circuit and took over the reins of management in October 1965.

Converted to a road course, the circuit opened in December 1965 and proved to be somewhat dangerous, with the wide banked turn (named "Daiichi") regularly resulting in major accidents. Vic Elford said:

"In 1969 I spent two months in Japan doing a test contract for Toyota and their Toyota 7 (5 litre V-8), which along with a big Nissan (6.3 litre V-12), was destined for CanAm. My last testing and then the subsequent Sports Car GP were at Fuji, but the track was run in a clockwise direction. The reason that banking was so horrific, was that at the end of the straight we went over a blind crest at around 190/200 mph and dropped into the banking. At other tracks (Daytona, Montlhéry, etc.) you climb up the banking. One of the results was that although there were many brave Japanese drivers there were not too many with great skill and the death toll from that one corner was horrendous. To such an extent that the big Gp 7 cars were then banned in Japan and thus, neither Nissan or Toyota ever made it to CanAm."

After a fatal accident in 1974 on the Daiichi banking where drivers Hiroshi Kazato and Seiichi Suzuki were both killed in a fiery accident that injured 6 other people, a new part of track was built to counteract the problem, and the resultant 4.359 km (2.709 mi) course, which also eliminated 5 other fast corners, proved more successful. In 1966, the track hosted a USAC Indy Car non-championship race, won by Jackie Stewart. The track had a 24-hour race in 1967.[6]

The speedway brought the first Formula One race to Japan at the end of the 1976 season. The race had a dramatic World Championship battle between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, and in rainy conditions, Hunt earned enough points to win the title. Mario Andretti won the race, with Lauda withdrawing due to the dangerous conditions.

In 1977, Gilles Villeneuve was involved in a crash that killed two spectators on the side of the track, leading to Formula One leaving the speedway. When Japan earned another race on the F1 schedule ten years later, it went to Suzuka instead. The Grand Prix returned to Fuji in 2007 following its renovation.

1980–2000: National racing venue

Fuji Speedway former layouts: Red 1965–1974, Blue 1975–1985, Green 1986–2004
Fuji Speedway former layouts: Red 1965–1974, Blue 1975–1985, Green 1986–2004
The abandoned "30° Bank" of the old track
The abandoned "30° Bank" of the old track

Fuji remained a popular sports car racing venue; the FIA World Sportscar Championship visited the track between 1982 and 1988 and it was often used for national races. Speeds continued to be very high, and two chicanes were added to the track: one after the first hairpin corner, the second at the entry to the wide, fast final turn (300R). Even with these changes, the main feature of the track remained its approximately 1.5 km (0.93 mi) long straight, one of the longest in all of motorsports.

The long pit straight has also been utilised for drag racing. NHRA exhibitions were run in 1989, and in 1993 Shirley Muldowney ran a 5.30 on the quarter-mile strip at Fuji. Local drag races are common on the circuit, at both 440 yd (402.336 m) & 1,000 ft (304.800 m) distances.

The track continued to be used for Japanese national races. Plans to host a CART event in 1991 were abandoned due to conflicts with the Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile. It was not until the autumn of 2000 that the majority of the stocks of the track were bought by Toyota from Mitsubishi Estate[7] as part of its motor racing plans for the future.

On May 3, 1998, there was a multi-car crash during a parade lap before a JGTC race caused by the safety car slowing in torrential rain.[8] Ferrari driver Tetsuya Ota suffered serious burns over his entire body after being trapped in his car for almost 90 seconds,[9] and Porsche driver Tomohiko Sunako fractured his right leg.[9]

2001–present: renovations

In 2003, the circuit was closed down to accommodate a major reprofiling of the track, using a new design from Hermann Tilke. The track was reopened on April 10, 2005, and hosted its first Formula One championship event in 29 years on September 30, 2007. In circumstances similar to Fuji's first Grand Prix in 1976, the race was run in heavy rain and mist and the first 19 laps were run under the safety car, in a race won by Lewis Hamilton.

Rebuilt grandstand in the 2000s
Rebuilt grandstand in the 2000s

The circuit has hosted the Nismo Festival for historic Nissan racers since refurbishment in 2003; the event previously took place at Okayama.[citation needed] When the festival returned in 2005, the organisers allowed circuit owner Toyota to bring in their Toyota 7 CanAm racer to re-enact an old Japanese GP battle. Toyota also hosts its own historic event a week before the NISMO festival called the Toyota Motorsports Festival. Close to the circuit is a drifting course, which was built as part of the refurbishment under the supervision of "Drift King" Keiichi Tsuchiya and former works driver and Super GT team manager Masanori Sekiya. There is a Toyota Safety Education Center and a mini circuit. In addition to motorsports, Fuji also hosts the Udo Music Festival.

The only time the circuit is run on a reverse direction is during the D1 Grand Prix round, as Keiichi Tsuchiya felt the new layout meant reduced entry speed, making it less suitable for drifting.[10] The series has hosted its rounds since 2003; with the exception of the 2004 closure, the circuit became the first to take place on an international level racetrack[10] and the first of the three to take place on an F1 circuit. The drift course starts from the 300R section and ends past the Coca-Cola corner. With the reprofiling, as cars no longer run downbank, entry speeds have since been reduced, the hill at the exit making acceleration difficult.[10] As part of the 2003 renovations, most of the old banked section of track was demolished. Only a small section remains to this day.

Fuji Speedway was announced to host the finish of the road cycling races at the 2020 Summer Olympics and 2020 Summer Paralympics.[11]

2007 and 2008 Japanese Grands Prix

Main articles: 2007 Japanese Grand Prix and 2008 Japanese Grand Prix

During the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix, Fuji Speedway met with a lot of problems, including the paralysis of the transportation network provided by the shuttle buses, poor facilities including some reserved seats without a view, lack of organization, and expensive meals such as simple lunch boxes being sold for 10,000 yen (US $87) at the circuit.[12][13]

Newspaper accounts of the event also alleged problems with Toyota bias and control. The circuit prohibited spectators from setting up flags and banners to support teams and drivers,[14][15] with the exception of the Toyota F1 team.[16] Therefore, there were very few flags and banners in the event compared with other Grand Prix events.[17][18]

For the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix race, organizers responded to lessons learned the previous year by reducing the total number of spectators allowed at the event. Compared to 140,000 persons allowed for Sunday events in 2007, attendance was restricted to 110,000.[19] Additionally, walkways and spectator facilities were improved, along with larger screens.[20] However, the race was also affected by rainy weather, which has historically interfered in a number of past races at the circuit, and later in 2013, led to interference with a 6-hour endurance race at the track for the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Following both poor ticket sales and weather, it was decided by FOM that the FIA Japanese Grand Prix would be shared between Fuji and Suzuka on alternate years, with Suzuka holding the next race on Sunday, October 4, 2009. After the global recession and its own operational deficit, Toyota decided to discontinue the hosting of Japanese Grand Prix since 2010.[21]

2020 Summer Olympics

During the 2020 Summer Olympics, which due to the COVID-19 pandemic were postponed to 2021, the speedway was a venue and finish for the cycling races:

Events

Current
Former

Layout history

Race Lap Records

Main gate of the circuit
Main gate of the circuit
Mount Fuji

The official fastest race lap records at the Fuji Speedway are listed as:

Category Record Driver Car Date
Grand Prix Circuit 4th Configuration: 4.549 km (2005–present)[22]
Formula One 1:18.426 Brazil Felipe Massa Ferrari F2008 October 12, 2008
Super Formula 1:21.391[23] Japan Nirei Fukuzumi Dallara SF19 December 20, 2020
LMP1 1:24.645[24] France Loic Duval Audi R18 October 16, 2016
Formula Nippon 1:27.011[25] Germany Andre Lotterer Swift FN09 April 5, 2009
Super GT (GT500) 1:28.493[26] Japan Haruki Kozakura TOYOTA GR Supra GT500 November 28, 2021
LMP2 1:30.042[24] Netherlands Nyck De Vries Oreca 07 October 6, 2019
Super Formula Lights 1:32.223[27] Japan Ritomo Miyata Dallara 320 December 20, 2020
Formula Three 1:34.209[28] Japan Sho Tsuboi Dallara F317 October 13, 2018
LMP3 1:36.296[29] United Kingdom Nigel Moore Ligier JS P3 December 9, 2018
Super GT (GT300) 1:36.553[30] Japan Kohta Kawaai TOYOTA GR Supra GT300 November 29, 2020
FRJC 1:36.775[31] Japan Yuga Furutani Dome F111/3 September 26, 2021
GT3 1:37.061[32] Hong Kong Alexandre Imperatori Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 July 22, 2018
LM GTE 1:37.392[24] United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist BMW M8 GTE October 14, 2018
Ferrari Challenge 1:43.347[33] Japan Nobuhiro Imada Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo July 24, 2022
Formula 4 1:45.185[34] Japan Hibiki Taira Dome F110 November 28, 2020
GT4 1:47.333[32] Japan Takayuki Kinoshita BMW M4 GT4 July 22, 2018
TCR Touring Car 1:47.360[35] Japan Takuro Shinohara Audi RS 3 LMS TCR December 20, 2020
Grand Prix Circuit 3rd Configuration: 4.400/4.470 km (September 1987–2004)[36]
Formula 3000 1:17.025[37] United Kingdom Andrew Gilbert-Scott Lola T93/50 April 10, 1994
Group C 1:17.574[38] Japan Masahiro Hasemi Nissan R92CP May 4, 1992
Formula Nippon 1:17.728[39] Japan Naoki Hattori Reynard 2KL April 7, 2002
LMGTP 1:18.806[40] Japan Ukyo Katayama Toyota GT-One (TS020) November 7, 1999
Fuji Grand Champion Series 1:21.800[41] Japan Masanori Sekiya March 89GC October 29, 1989
JGTC (GT500) 1:25.134[42] Japan Takuya Kurosawa Toyota Supra (JZA80) July 28, 2002
Formula Three 1:26.344[43] Japan Tatsuya Kataoka Dallara F302 April 6, 2003
Group A 1:32.867[44] Sweden Anders Olofsson Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 November 8, 1992
JGTC (GT300) 1:32.872[45] Japan Shinsuke Shibahara Vemac RD320R May 4, 2002
Grand Prix Circuit 2nd Configuration: 4.359/4.410/4.441 km (1975–August 1987)[1]
Formula One 1:14.300[46] South Africa Jody Scheckter Wolf WR1 October 22, 1977
Formula Two 1:18.310[47] Japan Satoru Nakajima March 842 April 15, 1984
Formula 2000 1:18.810[48] Japan Kazuyoshi Hoshino March 742 August 8, 1976
Group C 1:19.228[49] West Germany Stefan Bellof Porsche 956 October 2, 1983
Original Grand Prix Circuit: 5.999 km (1965–1974)
Formula 2000 1:32.570[50] Australia Vern Schuppan March 722 May 3, 1973
Group 7 1:52.810[51] Japan Moto Kitano Nissan R381 May 3, 1968
Group 6 2:00.800[52] Japan Tetsu Ikuzawa Porsche 906 May 3, 1967
Group 4 2:05.000[52] Japan Ginji Yasuda Lola T70 May 3, 1967
Group 3 2:15.530[53] Japan Ginji Yasuda Jaguar XK-E May 3, 1966

Corners

This is the official listing of the twelve corners that make up the current circuit layout, in use since 2005. Only some corners have Japanese names, most of which are a result of sponsorship agreements. The rest are named after the radius of the corner in metres.

The sixth corner hairpin
The sixth corner hairpin
  1. TGR Corner (27R)
  2. 75R
  3. Coca-Cola Corner (80R)
  4. Toyopet (100R)
  5. Advan Corner (30R)
  6. 120R
  7. 300R
  8. Dunlop Corner (15R)
  9. 30R
  10. 45R
  11. GR Supra Corner (25R)
  12. Panasonic Corner (12R)

The Dunlop corner differs with the configuration used. In the full configuration, it consists of a tight right hairpin turn followed by a left-right flick. In the GT course, it is a medium-speed right-hander, bypassing turns 11 and 12.

Fuji Speedway in videogames

The Fuji circuit is represented in the arcade racing game Pole Position, and is one of the four selectable tracks in Pole Position II. Fuji is also featured in Project CARS 2, Top Gear, TOCA Race Driver, Gran Turismo 4: Prologue, Gran Turismo 4, Tourist Trophy, Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, Gran Turismo (PSP), Gran Turismo 5, Gran Turismo 6 and Gran Turismo Sport. For F1 Challenge '99–'02, Grand Prix Legends, rFactor, GTR 2 – FIA GT Racing Game, GT Legends, Assoluto Racing and Race 07, the track is available as free downloadable content.

Fuji Speedway in television

The Fuji circuit is featured prominently in the Japanese television drama Engine as the main setting for the racing scenes, as well as the home of the (fictional) "Regulus Cup".

The track was also featured in an episode of the 11th season of the British automotive show Top Gear, in which host Jeremy Clarkson drives a Nissan GT-R.

Part of the Gaki no Tsukai 2013 New Year's Holiday No-Laughing Earth Defense Force punishment game was also shot at Fuji Speedway.

The circuit was featured in the opening scene of tokusatsu series Dennou Keisatsu Cybercop.

Notes

  1. ^ a b After abolishing the high-banking in 1974, The Dunlop Tyres chicanes was later added in 1984, and the 27R Corners Shape was change in 1986
  2. ^ service, Grandprix.com – First & fastest: The original online F1 news. "Grandprix.com". Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "2021 Fuji 500km Preview: The Golden Week Tradition Returns!". Dailysportscar. May 2, 2021. Archived from the original on May 18, 2021.
  4. ^ "Fuji: Duval, Couto weekend summary". motorsport.com. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  5. ^ "LIST OF FIA LICENSED CIRCUITS" (PDF). FIA. February 6, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  6. ^ "1967 Toyota 2000 GT". conceptcarz.com. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  7. ^ "Suzuka responds to Fuji pressure". grandprix.com. December 23, 2000. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  8. ^ RJ O’Connell (May 3, 2018). "20 Years Later… Tetsuya Ota, Shinichi Yamaji, & The Fuji Disaster". Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Super GT: AUTOBACS CUP GT Championship 1998 Round 2 – Race Review, Fog Bank Ends 2nd Round of GTC". Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved December 25, 2009.
  10. ^ a b c JDM Option Vol.21
  11. ^ Challenging Cycling road race courses revealed – Tokyo 2020 official website, 9 August 2018
  12. ^ "富士スピードウェイ:コース見えず、トイレやバスは大渋滞 30年ぶりF1に課題 (Fuji Speedway: Can't see the course, and the rest rooms and the shuttle buses are crowded. There is a problem in F1 has not held for 30 years)" (in Japanese). Mainichi Shimbun. October 1, 2007. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved October 3, 2007.
  13. ^ "F1 Grand Prix lunch-box – \10,000". www.kansenzyuku.com/. September 28, 2007. Archived from the original on August 24, 2008. Retrieved October 3, 2007.
  14. ^ "Notes on the reserved seat" (in Japanese). kansenzyuku.com. September 28, 2007. Archived from the original on August 24, 2008. Retrieved September 30, 2007.
  15. ^ "日本GP・横断幕の事 (About banners at the Japanese GP: Q&A with Mr. Ikeya, Fuji Speedway)" (in Japanese). champion-ship. October 1, 2007. Retrieved October 1, 2007.
  16. ^ "Captured image from the race on Sunday" (in Japanese). Formula One Administration. September 30, 2007. Retrieved September 30, 2007.
  17. ^ "横断幕はどこ? (Where are banners?)". AUTOSPORT Japan. September 30, 2007. Retrieved October 2, 2007.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Kenji Sawada's Report from circuit" (in Japanese). Kenji Sawada, an official F1 photographer. September 30, 2007. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved September 30, 2007.
  19. ^ "Fuji to limit attendance for 2008 GP". f1update.com. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  20. ^ "Fuji gets better toilets but still needs a roof · F1 Fanatic". f1fanatic.co.uk. February 20, 2008. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  21. ^ "Toyota to pull out of hosting 2010 Japan GP". Mainichi Daily News. Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  22. ^ Reprofiled by Hermann Tilke in 2003
  23. ^ "2020 Super Formula Fuji Statistics". results.motorsportstats.com. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  24. ^ a b c "2019 6 Hours of Fuji Results" (PDF). fiawec.com. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  25. ^ "2009 Fuji Formula Nippon - Round 1". Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  26. ^ "2021 Results - Round 8 Fuji GT500". supergt.net. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  27. ^ "2020年 REBELLION 全日本スーパーフォーミュラ・ライツ選手権 第16戦 決勝 結果". Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  28. ^ "2018 Fuji Japanese F3 - Round 19". Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  29. ^ "4H of Fuji - Asian Le Mans Series 2018-2019 Fastest Lap Times per Drivers" (PDF). Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  30. ^ "2020 Results - Round 8 Fuji GT300". supergt.net. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  31. ^ "2021 FRJC Fuji Round 3 Race 9 Results" (PDF). Retrieved October 17, 2021.
  32. ^ a b "SRO GT Asia Fuji 2018". Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  33. ^ "2022 Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific Fuji Race 2 - Classification - Final" (PDF). Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  34. ^ "Toyota's Hibiki Taira takes strange Japanese F4 double win at Suzuka". Retrieved July 27, 2022.
  35. ^ "2020 TCR Japan Fuji Round 6 Sunday Race Results" (PDF). Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  36. ^ The Suntory chicanes was added in 1987.
  37. ^ "1994 Fuji Japanese F3000 - Round 2". Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  38. ^ "Fuji 1000 Kilometres 1992". Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  39. ^ "2002 Fuji Formula Nippon - Round 2". Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  40. ^ "Fuji 1000 Kilometres 1999". Retrieved April 21, 2022.
  41. ^ "Grand Champion Fuji Masters Speed 1989". Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  42. ^ "All Japan Fuji GT 2002". Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  43. ^ "2003 Fuji Japanese F3". Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  44. ^ "1992 AJTCC – Round 8 (Fuji Inter-Tec 500 km)". touringcarracing.net. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  45. ^ "500 km Fuji 2002". Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  46. ^ "1977 Formula One Japanese Grand Prix – Race". Motorsport Stats. Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  47. ^ "1984 Fuji Japanese F2". Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  48. ^ "1976 Fuji Japanese F2000". Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  49. ^ "Fuji 1000 Kilometres 1983". Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  50. ^ "All-Japan Formula 2000 Championship (1973-1977)". Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  51. ^ "Japan Grand Prix 1968". Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  52. ^ a b "Japan Grand Prix 1967". Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  53. ^ "Japan Grand Prix 1966". Retrieved May 20, 2022.