Twin Ring Motegi Preview

Take a tour of Twin Ring Motegi DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 10, 1998) (NOTE: This is the second in a series of articles counting down the weeks and days until the NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi Coca-Cola 500K exhibition race in November in ...

Take a tour of Twin Ring Motegi

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 10, 1998) (NOTE: This is the second in a series of articles counting down the weeks and days until the NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi Coca-Cola 500K exhibition race in November in Japan.)

This November NASCAR competitors will have their first opportunity to race on a superspeedway in the Pacific Rim in the NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi - Coca-Cola 500K.

The NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi - Coca-Cola 500K is the third NASCAR demonstration race in Japan. The first two races were held on a 1.4-mile road course at Suzuka Circuitland in Suzuka City, Japan, located 250 miles southwest of Tokyo. The new Twin Ring Motegi facility is nestled in the beautiful Yamizo Mountains 60 miles northeast of Tokyo.

Like many new tracks Twin Ring Motegi was constructed as a motorsports entertainment experience, but the shining new facility is much more than that.

The largest private construction project ever undertaken in Japan, more than 520 million cubic feet of dirt, nine dams, four bridges, and several miles of public roads were massaged or moved to accommodate the new 640 acre, $400 million complex.

With an eye on preserving the natural surroundings, considerations were given to the preservation of existing forests and the nearby river basin.

So perhaps the greatest accomplishment next to winning a race at this new track was the actual construction of the facility.

"Twin Ring Motegi is a very impressive international motorsports facility," said Bill France, president of NASCAR. "Until now an American style oval track outside the United States was almost unheard of. Our Japanese friends' vision and insight to build a superspeedway as a hallmark for their new motorsports entertainment complex is a significant step for oval track racing."

There are six different race tracks which can be used at Twin Ring Motegi: a 1.549-mile superspeedway; a three-mile road course; two smaller road racing circuits; a quarter-mile dirt track; an eighth-mile dirt track.

The superspeedway track is egg-shaped similar to Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, but longer at 1.549-miles. It also is a relatively flat track with a nearly flat front straightaway and slightly banked backstretch, while the corners feature dual banking ranging from three to 10 degrees. At approximately 80 feet wide, side-by-side racing should be common.

Twin Ring Motegi is the first track in the world to blend an American superspeedway with a European road course. While the superspeedway and 3-mile road course are independent of each other, the two share the superspeedway's grandstand seating and luxury suites as the road course weaves through the infield, tunnels under the superspeedway just before Turn 3, and reenters the infield section of the superspeedway by tunneling between Turns 1 and 2.

There are 20,953 reserved grandstand seats, 864 box seats, and 40,000 general admission infield seats. An additional 80,000 general admission seats are available for the road course.

Twin Ring Motegi encourages fans to experience the excitement and skills of driving a car with The Motegi School of Racing and the Active Safety Driving Park Motegi. The Motegi School of Racing includes a training program for superspeedway racing in stock cars as well as two types of dirt midget cars and flat track dirt motorcycles. The Active Safety Training Park Motegi is a safety training school for cars and motorcycles that focuses on day-to-day driving in collision avoidance, water splash, braking, and low traction situations.

Additional features at Twin Ring Motegi include concerts, the Hotel Twin Ring, camping sites, go-kart tracks, restaurants and shops, a museum of cars, motorcycles and race cars, and a Fan & Fun Lab that showcases technology and products.

The NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi Coca-Cola 500 will be comprised of 500 kilometers (207 laps, 311 miles) and competitors will run for a minimum $1 million purse with a 30-car field made up of drivers from the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series, and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, as well as four Japanese drivers.

Source: NASCAR Online

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