Next race event
TWIN RING MONTEGI
Twin Ring Motegi, in the Tochigi Prefecture 145 kilometers north of the capital Tokyo, stages WTCC Race of Japan for the second time following four successful seasons at Suzuka and three at Okayama before then. Motegi also hosts the country’s MotoGP round in October and the track layout, with its long straights and heavy braking points, helped to deliver an abundance of overtaking when the WTCC visited for the first time in September 2015. As well is its oval and traditional road course, Twin Ring Motegi houses a hotel, kart track, safer driving centre plus the impressive Honda Collection Hall.
1: Honda commissioned the build of Twin Ring Motegi in 1997 to bring IndyCar racing to Japan. America’s CART series raced at the circuit from 1998-2002, before Honda entered the Indy Racing League in 2003 when Motegi gained a place on that calendar.
2: Its name comes from it having two racetracks – a 2.49-kilometre oval and the 4.8-kilometre road course the WTCC aces will race on.
3: The late IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon won for Honda at Motegi in 2004, and in 2008 Danica Patrick became the first woman to win an IndyCar race at the oval. The series’ final race at Motegi was run in 2011.
4: Tiago Monteiro scored a popular win for Honda in the second WTCC Race of Japan in 2015, while Norbert Michelisz demonstrated the pace of the Civic WTCC by securing the DHL Pole Position Award for the opening race of the Motegi weekend, Honda’s only top start of last season.
5: Japan hosted the 1964 Summer Olympic games in Tokyo and will do so again in 2020. The country also hosted the 1972 and ’98 Winter Olympics in Sapporo and Nagano respectively.
Name: Twin Ring Motegi
Location: 120-1 Hiyama, Motegi-machi, Haga-gun, Tochigi Pref. 321-3597, Japan
Length: 4.801 kilometres
Lap record (qualifying): Norbert Michelisz (Honda Civic WTCC) 1m55.596s (149.5kph), 12/09/15
Lap record (race): Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Civic WTCC) 1m57.136s (147.6kph), 13/09/15
WTCC RACE OF JAPAN WINNERS
2015: Race 1: José María López (Citroën C-Elysée); Race 2: Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic)
2014: R1: José María López (Citroën C-Elysée); R2: Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Civic)
2013: R1: Norbert Michelisz (Honda Civic); R2: Tom Coronel (BMW 320)
2012: R1: Alain Menu (Chevrolet Cruze); R2: Stefano D’Aste (BMW 320)
2011: R1: Alain Menu (Chevrolet Cruze); R2: Tom Coronel (BMW 320)
2010: R1: Rob Huff (Chevrolet Cruze); R2: Colin Turkington (BMW 320)
2009: R1: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320); R2: Augusto Farfus (BMW 320)
2008: R1: Rickard Rydell (SEAT León); R2: Tom Coronel (SEAT León)
Next race event