Twin Ring Motegi

Last updated
Twin Ring Motegi
Twin Ring Motegi logo.png
Twin Ring Motegi map-2.svg
Location120-1 Hiyama, Motegi
Haga, Tochigi, 321-3597 Japan
Capacity68,156
Owner Honda
Operator Mobilityland Corporation, Ltd.
OpenedAugust 1997
Construction cost ¥5 billion (44,873,000.00 United States Dollars) M Events = MotoGP
Super GT
Super Formula
MFJ Superbike
Super Taikyu
IndyCar Series (former)
Super speedway
Length2.493 km (1.549 mi)
Turns4
BankingTurns = 10°
Race lap record0:26.425 ( Flag of Brazil.svg Tony Kanaan, Mo Nunn Racing, 2002, Champ Car)
Road course
Length4.800 km (2.983 mi)
Turns14
Race lap record1:31.888 ( Flag of Japan.svg Tomoki Nojiri, TOM'S, 2017, Dandelion Racing)
East road course
Length3.400 km (2.112 mi)
Turns11
West road course
Length1.400 km (0.869 mi)
Turns6

Twin Ring Motegi(ツインリンクもてぎ,Tsuin Rinku Motegi) is a motorsport race track located at Motegi, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Its name comes from the facility having two race tracks: a 2.493-kilometer (1.549 mi) oval and a 4.8-kilometer (2.98 mi) road course. It was built in 1997 by Honda, as part of the company's effort to bring the IndyCar Series to Japan, helping to increase their knowledge of American open-wheel racing.

Motorsport events which primarily involve the use of motorized vehicles

Motorsport or motor sport is a global term used to encompass the group of competitive sporting events which primarily involve the use of motorised vehicles, whether for racing or non-racing competition. The terminology can also be used to describe forms of competition of two-wheeled motorised vehicles under the banner of motorcycle racing, and includes off-road racing such as motocross.

Race track Facility built for racing of animals, vehicles, or athletes

A race track is a facility built for racing of vehicles, athletes, or animals. A race track also may feature grandstands or concourses. Racetracks are also used in the study of animal locomotion. Some motorsport tracks are called speedways.

Motegi, Tochigi Town in Kantō, Japan

Motegi is a town located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. As of May 2015, the town had an estimated population of 13,501, and a population density of 78.2 persons per km². Its total area is 172.69 km².

Contents

The Japanese Motorcycle Grand Prix has always been more of a promoter event than a profit-raiser in itself. The contract was prolonged until 2018, although tobacco advertising remains banned ever since its prohibition in 2007.

Super speedway

The oval course is the only one of its kind in Japan, and currently is used only once a year for racing. It is a low-banked, 1.549-mile-long (2.493 km) egg-shaped course, with turns three and four being much tighter than turns one and two. On March 28, 1998, CART held the inaugural race at Twin Ring Motegi Speedway. The race was won by Mexican driver Adrian Fernandez. CART continued racing at Twin Ring Motegi Speedway from 1998–2002. In 2003, Honda entered the Indy Racing League and the race became a part of the IRL schedule. In addition to Indycar racing, the track has also hosted a single NASCAR exhibition race in 1998.

Champ Car Defunct North American open wheel auto racing organization

Champ Car was the trade name for Open Wheel Racing Series Inc., a sanctioning body for American open-wheel car racing that operated from 2003 to 2008.

Honda, which had built the oval for the express purpose of developing its oval-racing program for Indy car racing, did not win a race at the track for its first six years of operation. In 2004, Dan Wheldon took the first win for Honda on the oval. In 2008, the Motegi oval gained additional publicity when Danica Patrick became the first woman to win an Indycar race, beating Hélio Castroneves for her first and only Indycar victory to date. [1]

Dan Wheldon British racing driver

Daniel Clive Wheldon was a British motor racing driver who won the 2005 IndyCar Series Drivers' Championship for Andretti Green Racing (AGR). He won the Indianapolis 500 in 2005 and 2011, and a was co-winner of the 2006 24 Hours of Daytona with Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR).

Danica Patrick American racecar driver

Danica Sue Patrick is an American former professional racing driver. She is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing—her victory in the 2008 Indy Japan 300 is the only win by a woman in an IndyCar Series race.

Hélio Castroneves Brazilian racecar driver

Hélio Alves de Castro Neves, better known as Hélio Castroneves, is a Brazilian auto racing driver competing in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Prior to IMSA, Castroneves competed in the IndyCar Series, gaining 23 wins and 38 poles, and placed second in the season standings four times, third three times, and fourth five times. Castroneves also competed in the CART championship, with a highest championship points finish of fourth; he recorded six wins and seven pole positions in the series.

The 2011 season was the last season of Indycar in Motegi. It had been dropped from the calendar as organizers looked to maximize viewing audiences. [2] The road course, rather than the super speedway, was used for the 2011 race due to damage to the oval track resulting from the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake.

2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami magnitude 9.0 - 9.1 (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST (05:46 UTC) on 11 March 2011

The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku was a magnitude 9.0–9.1 (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST on Friday 11 March 2011, with the epicentre approximately 70 kilometres (43 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku and the hypocenter at an underwater depth of approximately 29 km (18 mi). The earthquake is often referred to in Japan as the Great East Japan Earthquake and is also known as the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, the Great Sendai Earthquake, the Great Tōhoku Earthquake, and the 3.11 earthquake.

For race results, see Indy Japan 300

Track length of paved oval

The track length is disputed by series that run at Twin Ring Motegi. The NASCAR timing and scoring use a length of 1.549 miles (2.493 km). [3] This length was used by CART in their races between 1998 and 2002, too. [4] The IRL measured in 2003 a length of 1.52 miles (2.45 km). [5] This length was also used in the following races till 2010. [6]

NASCAR history

Mike Skinner won the only NASCAR Cup Series exhibition race held at the track in 1998, the Coca-Cola 500. Skinner won driving the No.31 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. The race was most noted for being the first oval track NASCAR race in Japan as well as being the first in which Dale Earnhardt and his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., competed with one another, driving No.3 and No.1 Coca-Cola Chevrolets, respectively. The track also held the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in 1999 with Kevin Richards getting the win.

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is an American auto racing sanctioning and operating company that is best known for stock-car racing. Its three largest or National series are the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the Xfinity Series, and the Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Regional series include the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, the Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Pinty's Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, and NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series. NASCAR sanctions over 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in 48 US states as well as in Canada, Mexico, and Europe. NASCAR has presented races at the Suzuka and Motegi circuits in Japan, and the Calder Park Thunderdome in Australia. NASCAR also ventures into eSports via the PEAK Antifreeze NASCAR iRacing Series and a sanctioned ladder system on that title.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series top auto racing division within NASCAR

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) is the top racing series of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). Since 2017, it has been named for its sponsor, Monster Energy, but has been known by other names in the past. The series began in 1949 as the Strictly Stock Division, and from 1950 to 1970 it was known as the Grand National Division. In 1971, when the series began leasing its naming rights to the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, it was referred to as the Winston Cup Series. A similar deal was made with Nextel in 2003, and it became the Nextel Cup Series (2004–2007). Sprint acquired Nextel in 2005, and in 2008 the series was renamed the Sprint Cup Series, which lasted until 2016. In December 2016, it was announced that Monster Energy would become the new title sponsor starting in 2017.

Richard Childress Racing company

RCR Enterprises, LLC, doing business as Richard Childress Racing (RCR), is an American professional stock car racing team that currently competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The team is based in Welcome, North Carolina, and is owned and operated by former driver Richard Childress. In the Cup Series, the team currently fields three Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 teams: the No. 3 full-time for Austin Dillon, the No. 8 full-time for Daniel Hemric, and the No. 31 part-time for Tyler Reddick. In the Xfinity Series, the team currently fields three Chevrolet Camaro teams: the No. 2 full-time for Tyler Reddick and the No. 21 part-time for Kaz Grala. RCR has had at least one car successfully qualify for every Cup race since 1972, the longest such active streak.

Road course

The road course is 4.8 kilometers long and is unique in sharing garage and grandstand facilities with the oval course, but being entirely separate otherwise. Although they are separate tracks, it is impossible for races to occur simultaneously on the two courses; to access the oval track, teams must cross the road course pit and front straight. The road course also runs in the opposite direction from the oval; clockwise, rather than counter-clockwise.

The course itself is built in a stop-start straight-hairpin style, which flows differently than many similarly-sized tracks. By Japanese standards the circuit is exceptionally flat, with only a slight elevation rise towards the hairpin turn. The road course is much busier than the oval track, with Formula Nippon visiting twice, Super GT and Super Taikyu cars once each, and local events almost every weekend. The road course can be used in three ways: the full course, or two "short courses" can be made, using connecting roadways. These short courses are usually used for junior formula events, such as Formula 4 and FJ1600.

The road course is also a popular motorcycle racing track, with the MotoGP usually visiting once a year, as well as several Japanese national bike racing series. It has hosted the Pacific motorcycle Grand Prix from 2000 to 2003 and the Japanese motorcycle Grand Prix since 2004.

Other facilities

In addition to the main racing complex, Twin Ring Motegi features a second road course (called the "North Short Course") for karting and Formula 4 events, as well as a 1/4 mile dirt track for modified and sprint car racing. In addition, the FIM Trials series visits the track every year for the world trials championship. Therefore, an outdoor trials course exists on the facility.

Outside of racing, Twin Ring has the Honda Collection Hall, which features historic Honda racing and production cars and motorcycles, and Honda Fan Fun Lab, which features Honda's next generation technologies such as robotics, fuel-cell vehicles and aviation. Honda also operates a technology demonstration center on the site, as well as educational centers.

In 2009, a cafe opened which was named after the Gran Turismo video games. [7] [8]

Track difficulties

Twin Ring is a separate-but-combined road-and-oval track (as opposed to the "roval" tracks common in the United States), and the decision to include a full road course contained largely within the oval necessitated design compromises. For spectators, sightlines can be extremely poor for road course races, as the grandstands are much further back than usual. The oval course blocks the view of much of the road course, including the best passing point on the track [ citation needed ], and several large-screen televisions are needed. Seating outside the grandstand is limited to areas of the infield and along the 750-metre backstraight of the road course.

Track access is a major concern, with only two entry and exit points by a two-lane public road. Motegi is not a particularly large town, and accommodation is virtually non-existent close to the track, except for the on-site hotel. Train links to the area are extremely limited (the major regional lines, JR East and Tobu Railway do not service the area), nor has a planned superhighway been completed. Thus the stated track capacity (about 65,000) is dictated largely by traffic flow, not by actual seating capacity (estimated to be nearly 100,000 for road-course events, 80,000 for the oval).

In 2011 Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo proposed to boycott the MotoGP race out of fears for their health from radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant even though all the independent scientific experts including the World Health Organization and Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency had stated that it is safe to live permanently 80 km or more from the plant. [9] Motegi is more than 120 km from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. In the end, all the teams showed up for the race.

As a large recently constructed Japanese circuit, Twin Ring Motegi has and continues to be utilised virtually in a large number of electronic video games, both in arcade machines and in PC and console games for home use.

See also

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References

  1. 1998 NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi at racing-reference.info
  2. 1998 race result on champcarstats.com
  3. 2003 race result on champcarstats.com
  4. 2010 race result on champcarstats.com
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-11-13. Retrieved 2012-05-09.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. http://www.vg247.com/2009/04/03/gran-turismo-cafe-opens-in-japan/

Coordinates: 36°32′01″N140°13′39″E / 36.53361°N 140.22750°E / 36.53361; 140.22750