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Drifting Tracks

Japanese Racetracks


Name: Auto Polis International Racing Course
Circuit Length: 4,674 meters / 2.905 miles
Max Straight Length: 902 m
Course Width: 12 - 15 m
Address: Kami-noda 1110-12, Kamitsue-mura Oaza,
Hita-gun, Ohita Pref. 877-0321, Japan
Google Maps Satellite
Telephone: +81-973-55-1111
Fax: +81-973-55-1113
Website: http://www.autopolis.jp/
Email: ??

Autopolis is an international racing circuit located near Kamitsue village in Ōita Prefecture. Opened in 1990, it hosts a range of domestic and international motorsport events throughout the year. Although the track meets a high standard in terms of its facilities, it has never hosted a Formula 1 race. Due to the circuit ending up in financial difficulties, it has changed hands several times but still operates to this day.

The circuit, located within Aso Kujiyu National Park, was built at a cost of $500 million by the wealthy real-estate developer and investment banker Tomonori Tsurumaki who made headlines in 1989, when during a Paris auction, he successfully bid a Pablo Picasso painting Les Noces de Pierrette for $51.3 million from his Tokyo hotel room. Following his successful bid, he announced that his painting was to hang at at the art gallery of the auto racing resort, under development at the time.

The circuit was designed by Yoshitoshi Sakurai who was the project leader of the Honda F1 team during the 1960s.

Tsurumaki ordered 30 Buick powered US built single seater race cars called "Sabre Cars" for a race to take place on his circuit's grand opening, on November 1990 consisting of a mixture of invited US CART drivers such as Stan Fox, Johnny Rutherford, Dick Simon, Gary and Tony Bettenhausen, against local Japanese drivers. After the grand opening, Tsurumaki planned on a series with the cars, known as FC-45 "Formula Crane". A few races were run in 1991, with only a handful of cars competing.

The only major international race held at Autopolis was the 1991 World Sportscar Championship season final race, the 1991 430km of Autopolis which was won by Michael Schumacher and Karl Wendlinger in a Mercedes-Benz C291 fielded by Sauber.

To promote the venue's intention to host a Formula 1 race, it sponsored the Benetton Formula 1 team in 1990 and 1991. The cars featured prominent Autopolis logos. Visitors criticized the track for being too remote to the hotels which required several hours bus ride and felt that it was unsuitable for an F1 race. By then, hopes were fading, Tsurumaki turned up at the 1992 Portuguese Grand Prix. Whilst staying in Estoril, $250,000 of cash and jewels was stolen from his hotel room.

Tsurumaki also invested in race horse A.P. Indy and paintings of renowned painters such as Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, Chagall, Renoir and Magritte before his company, Nippon Tri-Trust collapsed, leading to his bankruptcy in 1993. The circuit plus the painting and contents ended up at the hands of Hazama who was responsible for the construction of the race track.

By 1995, the company offered the site for sale at 10% of its build cost which consisted of three hotels, swimming pools and an artificial ski slope. The paintings by then remained in a bank vault waiting to be sold.

The circuit currently holds events for the D1 Grand Prix as well as Super GT.

Autopolis. wikipedia.org Accessed 11 July 2008.




Ebisu Circuit

Name: Ebisu Circuit
Circuit Length: 2,061 meters / 1.281 miles
Max Straight Length: 420 meters
Course Width: 10 - 12 meters

1 Sawamatsukura, Nihonmatsu-shi, Fukushima Pref. 964-0088, Japan

Google Maps Satellite

Telephone: +91-243-24-2972
Fax: +81-243-24-2936
Website: http://www.ebisu-circuit.com/
Email: info@ebisu-circuit.com

Ebisu Circuit is the home course of D1 Grand Prix drivers Nobushige Kumakubo and Kazuhiro Tanaka. Along with a racetrack, Ebisu Circuit also houses a zoo, a motorcross track, and an amusement park. Each year, the D1 Grand Prix visit Ebisu for competition.





Name: Sportsland SUGO
Circuit Length: 3,737 meters / 2.323 miles
Max Straight Length: 704 meters
Course Width: 10 - 12.5 meters
Address: 6-1 Sugo, Murata-cho, Shibata-gun,
Miyagi Pref. 989-1394, Japan
Google Maps Satellite
Telephone: +81-224-83-3127
Fax: +81-224-83-3697
Website: http://www.sportsland-sugo.jp/english/
Email: msone@sportsland-sugo.jp

Sportsland SUGO is a motorsports facility located in the town of Murata, Shibata District, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. It opened in 1975 and is one of the largest motorsports facilities in Japan, with a total area of 2.1 million m. It offers four specialized race courses - a road racing course, a motocross course, a trials course, and a go-kart course.

Sportsland SUGO. wikipedia.org Accessed 11 July 2008.


Tsukuba Circuit

Name: Tsukuba Circuit
Circuit Length: 2,070 meters / 1.287 miles
Max Straight Length: 437 meters
Course Width: 10 - 15 meters
Address: Nishihara, Muraoka-aza, Chiyokawa-mura,
Yuki-gun, Ibaragi Pref. 304-0824, Japan
Google Maps Satellite
Telephone: +81-296-44-3146
Fax: +81-296-43-2952
Website: http://www.jasc.or.jp/
Email: info@jasc.or.jp

The Tsukuba Circuit is a famous race track located in Shimotsuma, a neighboring city of Tsukuba, Japan. It is 2,070 meters (1.29 mi) long, has 32 pits and the longest straight is 437 metres (0.272 mi) long. The track was established in 1966 with the aim of attracting young people to participate in motor sports but wasn't actually built until 1970. These days an event is held every week. The track has a large variation in corners ranging from wide sweepers to hairpins, testing drivers and their vehicles. There is room for 8500 spectators at the track, 3000 in the stands, 5000 on lawn seats and a further 500 standing over the pits. There is a small chicane corner that is used for motorcycle racing only.

The track has been appeared in numerous video games including Forza Motorsport and its sequel, Gran Turismo 4, Tourist Trophy, Enthusia Professional Racing, and D1 Grand Prix. The track is commonly used for tuner events and has appeared in the final installment of the Shuto Kousoku Trial series, SKT Max.

Tsukuba Circuit is a favorite place for Japan's Video Option to film their Super Lap / Time Attack Events. 

Tsukuba Circuit. wikipedia.org Accessed 11 July 2008.





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