Suzuka Circuit
, Suzuka Circuit for short, is a motorsport
Motorsport or motorsports is the group of sports which primarily involve the use of motorized vehicles, whether for racing or non-racing competition...

 race track
Race track
A race track is a purpose-built facility for racing of animals , automobiles, motorcycles or athletes. A race track may also feature grandstands or concourses. Some motorsport tracks are called speedways.A racetrack is a permanent facility or building...

 located in Ino, Suzuka City
Suzuka, Mie
is a city located in Mie, Japan.As of 2011, the city has an estimated population of 198,716 and the density of 1,020 people per km². The total area is 194.67 km².Located about 83 km east from Nara, and 52 km southwest from Nagoya.-History:...

, Mie Prefecture
Mie Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan which is part of the Kansai regions on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Tsu.- History :Until the Meiji Restoration, Mie prefecture was known as Ise Province and Iga Province....

, Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and operated by Mobilityland Corporation, the subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
is a Japanese public multinational corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles.Honda has been the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer since 1959, as well as the world's largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines measured by volume, producing more than...



Designed as a Honda test track in 1962 by John Hugenholtz
John Hugenholtz
Johannes Bernhardus Theodorus "Hans" Hugenholtz, in English-speaking countries a.k.a. John Hugenholtz was a Dutch designer of race tracks and cars....

, Suzuka is one of few circuits in the world to have a "figure 8" layout, with the back straight passing over the front section by means of an overpass
An overpass is a bridge, road, railway or similar structure that crosses over another road or railway...


The circuit has been modified three times:

In 1983 a chicane
A chicane is an artificial feature creating extra turns in a road, used in motor racing and on city streets to slow cars to lower speeds.- Motor Racing :...

 was put at the last curve to slow the cars into the pit straight and the Degner curve was made into two corners instead of one long curve; the circuit was also made considerably safer in 1983 by adding more Armco, more run-off areas and removing straw bales leading into vegetation;

In 2002, the chicane was slightly modified, 130R (marked as 15 on the diagram) was also modified and some of the Snake curves were made a bit straighter and faster;

In 2003, the chicane was made slightly faster and closer to the 130R.

The circuit can be used in three configurations; the full circuit, the "Suzuka East" and "Suzuka West" configuration. The "East" portion of the course consists of the pit straight to the first half of the Dunlop curve (turn 7), before leading back to the pit straight via a tight right-hander. The "West" course is made up of the other part of the full circuit, including the crossover bridge.

Motorsport events

Suzuka is one of the oldest remaining tracks of the Formula One
Formula One
Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

 World Championship, and so has a long history of races as venue of the Japanese Grand Prix
Japanese Grand Prix
The is a race in the calendar of the FIA Formula One World Championship. Traditionally one of the last, if not the last race of the season, the Japanese Grand Prix has been the venue for many title-deciding races, with 13 World Champions being crowned over the 27 World Championship Japanese...

. Its traditional role as one of the last Grands Prix of the season means numerous World Championships have been decided at the track.
Suzuka was dropped from the Formula One calendar for the and seasons in favour of the Toyota-owned Fuji Speedway
Fuji Speedway
is a race track standing in the foothills of Mount Fuji, in Oyama, Suntō District, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. It was built in the early 1960s and hosted the first Formula One race in Japan in 1976. In the 1980s, Fuji Speedway was used for the FIA World Sportscar Championship and national racing...

, after the latter underwent a transformation and redesign by circuit designer Hermann Tilke
Hermann Tilke
Hermann Tilke is a German engineer and auto racer, who has designed numerous Formula One motor racing circuits.-Racing:...

. Suzuka and Fuji were to alternate hosting the Japanese Grand Prix from 2009. However, after Fuji announced on July 2009 that it would no longer be part of the F1 calendar, Suzuka signed a deal to host the Japanese Grand Prix in , and .

The circuit closed for a year in order for the renovation to make it F1-compliant for 2009, with the last major event held on November 18, 2007, although some annual events (for instance, the Suzuka 8 Hours
Suzuka 8 Hours
The is a motorcycle endurance race held at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan each year. As the name implies, the race runs for eight hours consecutively and teams are composed of two riders and one alternate.-History:...

 and 1000km Suzuka) were still held. The track held a re-opening day on April 12, 2009.

Suzuka also hosts other motorsport events including the Suzuka 1000km
Suzuka 1000km
The 1000 km Suzuka is an annual 1000-kilometer endurance race for sports cars held at the Suzuka Circuit . It is a round of the Japanese Super GT championship....

 endurance race. Previously a part of multiple GT
Grand tourer
A grand tourer is a high-performance luxury automobile designed for long-distance driving. The most common format is a two-door coupé with either a two-seat or a 2+2 arrangement....

 racing series including the now defunct Group C
Group C
Group C was a category of motorsport, introduced by the FIA in 1982 for sports car racing, along with Group A for touring cars and Group B for GTs....

 class of the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship
All Japan Sports Prototype Championship
The , abbreviated as JSPC, formed by the Japanese Automobile Federation, was a domestic championship which took place in Japan for Group C and IMSA GTP prototype cars and also featured cars that were eligible for touring car racing in its earlier years...

, the Suzuka 1000 km as of 2006 is now a points round of the Super GT
Super GT
The Super GT series, formerly known as the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship or JGTC , is a grand touring car race series promoted by the GT-Association...

 series, and is the only race of such length in that series.

Another major motorsport event is the Suzuka 8 Hours
Suzuka 8 Hours
The is a motorcycle endurance race held at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan each year. As the name implies, the race runs for eight hours consecutively and teams are composed of two riders and one alternate.-History:...

 for motorcycles, which has been run since 1978. This event usually attracts big name riders and with the exception of 2005, due to the importance of the big name manufacturers involvement, the FIM
Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme
The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme is the governing body of motorcycle racing. It represents 103 national motorcycle federations that are divided into six regional continental unions....

 ensures that no motorcycle races clash on the date.

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events. It was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1947–48. As of 2009, the CEO for the company is Brian France, grandson of the late Bill France Sr...

 organized the NASCAR Thunder 100
NASCAR Thunder 100
In 1996 and 1997, NASCAR held exhibition races on the East portion of the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Japan. Several Japanese, Australian and Winston West Series drivers participated among some of the Winston Cup Series regulars. The races were broadcast on TBS in the U.S...

, a pair of exhibition 100-lap races on the East Circuit, a 1.4 miles (2.3 km) layout which utilizes the pit straight and esses, before rejoining the main circuit near the Casio Triangle. The cars were Sprint Cup Series and Camping World West Series cars and the field was by invitation for the two races, run after the 1996 and 1997 seasons. The 1996 event was marred by tragedy when during practice, pace car driver Elmo Langley
Elmo Langley
Elmo Langley was a NASCAR driver and owner. Langley primarily used the number "64" on his race cars during his NASCAR career.-Racing career:...

 died of a heart attack in the Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet Corvette
The Chevrolet Corvette is a sports car by the Chevrolet division of General Motors that has been produced in six generations. The first model, a convertible, was designed by Harley Earl and introduced at the GM Motorama in 1953 as a concept show car. Myron Scott is credited for naming the car after...

 Pace Car at the esses during an evaluation run. During qualifying for the 1997 race, rain caused Goodyear to use rain tires on Sprint Cup cars for the first time in the modern era.

It was announced on June 21, 2010 that Suzuka Circuit would host the Japan round of the 2011
2011 World Touring Car Championship season
The 2011 World Touring Car Championship season is the eighth season of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, and the seventh since its 2005 return...

World Touring Car Championship
For the video game, known as World Touring Car Championship in Japan, see TOCA World Touring CarsThe FIA World Touring Car Championship is an international Touring Car championship sanctioned by the FIA.-History:...

 season instead of the Okayama International Circuit.


Following two tremendous accidents in 2002 and 2003, safety has been a concern at the circuit's 130R, a 130 metres (427 ft) radius turn starting past the Crossover which has been compared to Spa
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is the venue of the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix and the Spa 24 Hours endurance race. It is also home to the all Volkswagen club event, 25 Hours of Spa, run by the Uniroyal Fun Cup. It is one of the most challenging race tracks in the world, mainly due to its...

's Eau Rouge. In 2002, Toyota F1
Toyota F1
Panasonic Toyota Racing was a Formula One team owned by Japanese car manufacturer Toyota and based in Cologne, Germany. Toyota announced their plans to participate in F1 in 1999, and after extensive testing with their initial car, dubbed the TF101, the team made their debut in 2002...

 driver Allan McNish
Allan McNish
Allan McNish is a Scottish racing driver. He is a two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, most recently in 2008, and two-time American Le Mans Series champion.- Early life :...

 suffered a high-speed crash through the bump, which sent him through a metal fence; fortunately, he was not seriously injured.
Track officials revised the 130R, redesigning it as a double-apex section, one with an 85 metres (279 ft) radius, and then a second featuring a 340 metres (1,115 ft) radius, leading to a much closer Casio Triangle (chicane), with the chicane becoming a "bus stop" type for motorcycles.

However, the problem continued for the new revised section. During the 2003 MotoGP Grand Prix of Japan, the track's first major event since the revisions, MotoGP
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix is the premier championship of motorcycle road racing currently divided into three distinct classes: 125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP. The 125cc class uses a two-stroke engine while Moto2 and MotoGP use four-stroke engines. In 2010 the 250cc two-stroke was replaced...

 rider Daijiro Kato
Daijiro Kato
was a Japanese Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and the 2001 World Champion in the 250cc class.-Biography:Kato was born in Saitama, and started racing miniature bikes at an early age, becoming a four-time national champion in the Japanese pocket-bike championship.He began road racing in 1992, and...

 was killed when he crashed in the new section, on his way to the braking zone for the Casio Triangle. MotoGP has not returned to Suzuka since the incident.

Popular culture

Along with Fuji Speedway
Fuji Speedway
is a race track standing in the foothills of Mount Fuji, in Oyama, Suntō District, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. It was built in the early 1960s and hosted the first Formula One race in Japan in 1976. In the 1980s, Fuji Speedway was used for the FIA World Sportscar Championship and national racing...

, Suzuka Circuit was one of the four tracks featured in the video game Pole Position II
Pole Position II
Pole Position II is a racing arcade game that was released by Namco in 1983 as the sequel to Pole Position, which was released the previous year. As with the original, Namco licensed Pole Position II to Atari for US manufacture and distribution...

(the first game featured only the Fuji track). The Suzuka Circuit was also featured in the Final Lap
Final Lap
Final Lap is a racing video game produced by Namco, and released by Atari Games for the United States in 1987. It was the unofficial sequel to the popular Pole Position games....

and the Ferrari F355 Challenge
Ferrari F355 Challenge
Ferrari F355 Challenge is a racing game based on the actual race car and Ferrari event. It was developed by the AM2 division of Sega for arcades under supervision of producer Yu Suzuki, and was later ported to the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2...

arcade games and video games like Forza Motorsport 2
Forza Motorsport 2
Forza Motorsport 2 is a racing video game developed by Turn 10 Studios for the Xbox 360 console. It is the second title in the Forza Motorsport series, and is the sequel to the original Forza Motorsport and is followed by Forza Motorsport 3 .The box art features a tuned Nissan 350Z...

, Forza Motorsport 3
Forza Motorsport 3
Forza Motorsport 3 is a racing video game developed for Xbox 360 by Turn 10 Studios. It was released in October . It is the sequel to Forza Motorsport 2 and the third installment in the Forza Motorsport series...

, Forza Motorsport 4
Forza Motorsport 4
Forza Motorsport 4 is a racing video game released by Turn 10 Studios for the Xbox 360. It is the fourth installment in the Forza Motorsport series, and was released in North America on October 11, 2011 and in Europe on October 14, 2011...

, Gran Turismo 4
Gran Turismo 4
is a racing simulator for the Sony PlayStation 2 which was developed by Polyphony Digital. It was released on December 28, 2004 in Japan and Hong Kong , February 22, 2005 in North America , and March 9, 2005 in Europe , and has since been re-issued under Sony's 'Greatest Hits' line...

, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is a PlayStation 3 exclusive title which was announced at the E3 2007. This short version title was a precursor and sampling of Gran Turismo 5 and replaced Gran Turismo HD Concept...

, Gran Turismo 5
Gran Turismo 5
is the fifth edition of the Gran Turismo racing video game series. Developed by Polyphony Digital and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, it was released for PlayStation 3 on November 24, 2010...

, iRacing is an online, subscription-based racing simulation service for Microsoft Windows created by Motorsport Simulations...

, R: Racing Evolution, Shift 2 Unleashed, Le Mans 24 Hours, The Cycles, MotoGP 3, MotoGP 4, Tourist Trophy
Tourist Trophy (video game)
is a motorcycle racing game. It was designed by Polyphony Digital, the same team that makes the popular Gran Turismo auto racing series. It was largely created off of Gran Turismo 4's game engine...

, Auto Modellista
Auto Modellista
Auto Modellista is a racing game developed and published by Capcom, first released on Sony PlayStation 2, and subsequently, on Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft Xbox...

and as the final race in Taito's racing game Continental Circus
Continental Circus
Continental Circus is an arcade racing game created and manufactured by Taito in 1987. It was then republished in 1989 along with a home version of the game, which was available on various platforms including the Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Amiga, Commodore 64, MSX and ZX Spectrum.The arcade version of...

. The circuit appears in most F1 games that have been published since 1987. The East Course was featured in NASCAR 98
NASCAR 98 is a racing simulator video game published and developed by EA Sports and released on October 31, 1997 for the Sega Saturn, and on November 17, 1997 for the PlayStation...


Presumably due to licensing issues on Pole Position II, the track is referred to in the Namco Museum
Namco Museum
Namco Museum refers to the series of video game compilations released by Namco for various 32-bit and above consoles, containing releases of their games from the 1980s and early 1990s...

 versions as the "Wonder" Circuit ("Orange Circuit" in Namco Museum: Virtual Arcade), after Namco's "Wonder" series of amusement parks, despite its logo appearing on the starter's box since 1983. Under the same issue the open source game TORCS
TORCS is an open source 3D car racing simulator available for GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows. TORCS was created by Eric Espié and Christophe Guionneau, but project development is now headed by Bernhard Wymann. It is written in C++ and is licensed under the GNU GPL...

also has the track renamed as "Wheel 2".

See also

Twin Ring Motegi
Twin Ring Motegi
is an automobile racing track located at Motegi, Japan. Its name comes from the facility having two race tracks: a oval and a road course. It was built in 1997 by Honda, as part of Honda's effort to bring the IndyCar Series to Japan, helping to increase their knowledge of American open-wheel...

, a Honda owned race track and oval, host to the FIM
Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme
The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme is the governing body of motorcycle racing. It represents 103 national motorcycle federations that are divided into six regional continental unions....

 MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix
Japanese motorcycle Grand Prix
The Japanese Motorcycle Grand Prix is a motorcycling event that is part of the Grand Prix motorcycle racing season.-Multiple winners :-Multiple winners :-By year:...

 and the Indycar
IndyCar is the trade name of an American-based open-wheel auto racing sanctioning body. IndyCar sanctions three racing series, the premier IZOD IndyCar Series with its centerpiece Indianapolis 500, and developmental series Firestone Indy Lights and the U.S...

 Indy Japan 300
Indy Japan 300
The Indy Japan 300 presented by Bridgestone is an Indy Racing League IndyCar Series race held at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan. The 2008 race marked the historic first ever win for a woman driver in American open wheel racing when Danica Patrick of Andretti-Green Racing took the checkered...

External links

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