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 km (2.5 mi) high-banked superspeedway, but there was not enough money to complete the project and thus only one of the bankings was ever designed. 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 banked turn (named "Daiichi") regularly resulting in major accidents.
Fuji remained a popular sports car racing venue and FIA World Sportscar Championship visited the track between 1982–1988 and it was often used for national races. Speeds continued to be very high, and two chicanes were added to the track, one just past the first hairpin corner, the second at the entry to the very long, very fast final turn (300R). But 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.
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. The circuit 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.
The circuit has always hosted the NISMO Festival for historic Nissan racers, since the takeover and refurbishment in 2003, the event took place at TI Circuit. When the festival returned in 2005, the organisers allowed the circuit owner to bring in their Toyota 7 CanAm racer to re-enact the old Japanese GP battle. Toyota also hosts its own historic event a week before the NISMO festival called 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. The short course nearby was built under the supervision of former works driver and Super GT team manager Masanori Sekiya and there is a Toyota Safety Education Center, 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. 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 and the first of the three to take place on an F1 circuit. The course starts from the 300R section, slide through the hairpin, then through 100R and ends past the Coca-Cola curve. With the reprofiling, as cars no longer run downbank, entry speeds have since been reduced, the hill at the exit making acceleration difficult. As part of the 2003 renovations, most of the old banked section of track was demolished. Only a small section remains to this day..Courtesy: Wikipedia
Track Length: Fuji 1965-1974 - 3.728 miles / 5.999 km Fuji 1974-1983 - 2.709 miles / 4.360 km Fuji 1984-1985 - 2.740 miles / 4.410 km Fuji 1986-1987 - 2.740 miles / 4.410 km Fuji 1987-1988 - 2.778 miles / 4.470 km Fuji 1989-1992 - 2.778 miles / 4.470 km Fuji 1993-2002 - 2.777 miles / 4.469 km Fuji 2005-XXXX - 2.827 miles / 4.549 km
Fuji Speedway is located in the foothills of Mount Fuji, in Oyama, Suntō District, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. The nerest major international airport is Tokyo's Haneda (105km away) but Narita offers better transport links to Fuji. For domestic connections and flights from China and South Korea, the new Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport is a third option, the closest to the track at 88km. Details of the best routes to the circuit by road or rail can be found on the English language version of the circuit website. If arriving by train, there are regular buses from Gotemba Station (everyday) and Suruga-Oyama Station (weekends only). Alternatively, a taxi ride from either station takes about 20 minutes and costs around 3500 yen (one way).
If you purchase your ticket online, you can pick it up at the accreditation centre which is at the west gate.
An IC card is like an oyster or similar rail card that can pay for not only bus and train but for food and drink at vending machines and stores. The most popular ones are Suica and Pasmo. There is no real difference between the two and i think they are exactly the same and can be used at major cities.
While the bus does stop at the bus terminal which is behind the main grandstand, it does usually enter from the east gate. On the Friday it entered the west gate but all other days it entered the east gate. The cost of the bus was around 500Yen (one way). You can use an IC card to pay for it.
You can access most of the track which is great.
There is camping which I was not aware of until just before going to the track.
The grandstand is open to everyone for Friday and maybe Saturday. Sunday has reserved seating for a large section of it, closer to pit exit end. The other end had some free space.
Food was freely available. If you pay around 1200Yen its a reasonable price for a full meal. A bottle of Coke from the numerous vending machines cost 160Yen. Gotemba station has a few restaurants near by. There is a noodle bar that has good food for around 500Yen that is right where the bus drops you off. Surprisingly there are a lot of French food at Fuji.
For photographers Fuji is awesome. the elevation changes help you get pics over the top of the catch fencing. There is also a great spot near the pit entrance that has a cut out that anyone can access..Courtesy: Scott Christie
|Boosters||175 Gotenba, Gotemba, Shizuoka 412-0028, Japan||+81 550-73-0135|
|Pasadena Restaurant & Bar||2093-17 Nakabata, Gotemba, Shizuoka 412-0006, Japan||+81 550-89-1484|
|Jeepney Restobar||+81 90-1861-8154|
|Bar Awake||1975 Niihash, Gotemba, Shizuoka, 412-0043, Japan||+81 550-88-8367|
|Rock Bar Z||2071-47 Niihashi, Gotemba, Shizuoka 412-0043, Japan||+81 550-88-8115|
|Meitetsu Saikan||732-1 Shimbashi, Gotemba, Shizuoka||+81-550-83-0722|
|Sosaimenka Nonomi||Tomei Ashigara SA (up) food court, 1801-1 Maenohara, Fukasawa, Gotemba, Shizuoka||+81-550-70-0105|
|Katsuei Gotemba-ten||193-2 Gumisawa, Gotemba, Shizuoka||+81-550-80-1111|
|Groun table||Gotemba kogen beer, 719 Kamiyama, Gotemba, Shizuoka||+81-550-87-5500|
|Fuku Fuku||194 Gumizawa, Gotemba, Shizuoka 412-0041, Japan||+81 550-80-1234|