Fuji

Country:
Japan
Location:
Oyama, Shizuoka Prefecture
Description

Built in the shadow of Mount Fuji, plans for this circuit originally called for an American-style 2.5-mile superspeedway with 30-degree banking and a road course. But the money ran out before both ends of banking could be built, leaving a 6 km road course with a fearsome banked curve at one end. In 1974, the organisers changed the direction of the circuit to clockwise and added a new downhill right-hand first corner that bypassed the banking. Fuji first held a round of the F1 World Championship two years later, in which James Hunt struggled through the rain to snatch the title. A year later, Gilles Villeneuve's Ferrari somersaulted into a prohibited area, killing a marshal and the spectator he was trying to move. Fuji lost the Grand Prix after that and a round of the World Sportscar Championship was the highlight from 1982-88. Now owned by Toyota, Fuji was rebuilt in 2005 and it twice held the Grand Prix that decade. The 2007 event was hampered by transportation woes and poor spectator facilities and the following year's race was run in torrential rain.