IRL: Twin Ring Motegi in Japan 2003 race announced

Irl, Twin Ring Motegi announce partnership. Excitement of Indy Racing coming to Japan in 2003-2005. INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 23, 2002 -- The Indy Racing League and Twin Ring Motegi, north of Tokyo, have entered into a three-year agreement for...

Irl, Twin Ring Motegi announce partnership.
Excitement of Indy Racing coming to Japan in 2003-2005.

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 23, 2002 -- The Indy Racing League and Twin Ring Motegi, north of Tokyo, have entered into a three-year agreement for the league to conduct its first races outside of the United States, it was announced today.

The first race will be in 2003 at a date to be announced later.

"Now that the Indy Racing League has a stable schedule in the United States, we are pleased to take racing based on the heritage of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race to Japan," said Tony George, president and CEO of the Indy Racing League and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "It is especially fitting that our first international venue will be at Twin Ring Motegi, one of the finest ovals in the world."

George and a delegation of Indy Racing League executives visited Twin Ring Motegi in April to observe the 1.5-mile track under racing conditions.

"We were very impressed by the facility and by the interest of the track's management team in having a League event at Twin Ring Motegi," George said. "We expect this to be an excellent partnership."

One of the newest racetracks in Japan, Twin Ring Motegi (Tochigi Prefecture) was established in August 1997. In addition to the American-style oval on which the Indy Racing League will compete, Twin Ring Motegi has a European-style road course of 2.8 miles. Since its opening, Twin Ring Motegi has been a venue for many major motorsports events.

Built in picturesque natural surroundings, Twin Ring Motegi offers many exciting motorsports programs for race fans. The facility also hosts a luxury hotel and the Honda Collection Hall, exhibiting many Honda products playing an important role in the automaker's history.

The Indy Racing League is an all-oval, open-wheel series with 15 events in 14 U.S. markets in 2002. Its premier event, the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, will take place Sunday, May 26, with television coverage starting at 11 a.m. (EDT) on ABC.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony George