Japanese FI Grand Prix Race on October 4th, 2009, Suzuka City, Japan.
Designed as a Honda test track in 1962 by John Hugenholtz, the Zandvoort owner, Suzuka is one of few circuits in the world to have a figure 8 layout. Obviously, due to the danger of an intersecting track, the track doesn’t actually intersect with itself; instead, the back straight passes over the front section by means of an overpass. Due to its unique layout, Suzuka is a massive test of driver skill and is easily one of the most difficult racing circuits in the world. Nevertheless, the track is loved by drivers and spectators alike both for its challenging design and many opportunities for overtaking.
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, with the pitlane located at the straight before the 130R corner. It has been host to the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix since 1987 and is a very popular venue as the Japanese crowds are fanatical, particularly in the late 80´s and early 90´s when McLaren-Honda, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost were at their peak. Always near the end of the F1 Championship calendar, it has been the scene of many memorable moments in recent racing history to decide the Championship. The facilities and organization are first-class.
The Japanese Grand Prix track is a very technical one to drive and consists of a good variety of corners, then the return section is a series of sweeping, fast curves, where drivers experience high G-forces. Its unique feature is the cross-over which means that unusually, there is an almost equal number of left and right-hand turns.
At nearly 6 km in length, it is one of the longest tracks on the international calendar. The annual international GT/Sportscar 1000 km race is usually held in mid-summer and drivers often have trouble coping with the immense heat, but in just a few more days it will be host to 2009 F1 Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix.
Race Date: 04 Oct 2009
Number of Laps: 53
Circuit Length: 5.807 km
Race Distance: 307.573 km
Lap Record: 1:31.540 – K. Raikkonen (2005)
For Tickets: http://www.gpticketshop.com
photos by: Ben Sutherland