Built by Honda in 1997, the venue’s official name is Twin Ring Motegi due to its oval layout and 4.8-kilometre track.
Motegi will host Japan’s round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship in September following confirmation of a new agreement between race promoter Mobilityland Corp. and WTCC promoter Eurosport Events Ltd.
After four successful years at Suzuka, WTCC Race of Japan is switching to Motegi, which is in the Tochigi Prefecture 145 kilometres north of the Japanese capital Tokyo and stages the country’s MotoGP round in October. The WTCC will visit from 11-13 September when the venue will make its first appearance on the calendar as one of five new tracks for 2015.
Hiroshi Soda, President of Mobilityland Corp, said: “We decided to hold the 2015 WTCC Race of Japan in Motegi under a mutual agreement with Eurosport Events Ltd (EEL). EEL is in no doubt that the Twin Ring Motegi road course will enhance the excitement of WTCC and vice-versa and I’m sure many more motorsports fans will rediscover the real pleasure of the Twin Ring Motegi circuit by watching the battle of the greatest touring car championship in the world. I’d like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to EEL and all other persons concerned for their understanding and cooperation.”
WTCC General Manager François Ribeiro added: “We genuinely think WTCC has found its home in Japan at Motegi. MotoGP tracks usually deliver high-quality touring car races and we are certain that the Motegi layout will offer close racing and significant overtaking opportunities.
“The WTCC was a success at Suzuka with attendances increasing each year. Given that popularity and the degree of expertise of Japanese motorsport fans, switching venues was a decision we took very carefully in conjunction with our partner Mobilityland. Mid-September should hopefully offer the most favourable weather conditions in terms of the local climate and we’ll be working very hard with all our Japanese WTCC stakeholders to promote the WTCC in the Tokyo area to ensure a good crowd.”
WTCC Race of Japan kicks-off a four-race tour of Asia following the traditional summer break with cars and equipment transported from Europe by sea. From Japan, the WTCC heads to China (Shanghai) and then Thailand (Buriram) before the season-closing night races in Qatar (Losail).
Built by Honda in 1997, the venue’s official name is Twin Ring Motegi due to its oval layout and 4.8-kilometre track. WTCC free practice and qualifying will take place on Saturday 12 September with both races held on Sunday 13 September. Ticket information and details of the support races will be announced soon.
FIA World Touring Car Championship 2015 calendar updated
Round 1: WTCC Race of Argentina (Termas de Río Hondo), 6-8 March
Round 2: WTCC Race of Morocco (Moulay El Hassan), 17-19 April
Round 3: WTCC Race of Hungary (Hungaroring), 1-3 May
Round 4: WTCC Race of Germany (Nürburgring Nordschleife), 15-16 May
Round 5: WTCC Race of Russia (Moscow Raceway), 5-7 June
Round 6: WTCC Race of Slovakia (Slovakia Ring), 19-21 June*
Round 7: WTCC Race of France (Paul Ricard), 26-28 June
Round 8: WTCC Race of Portugal (Vila Real), 10-12 July
Round 9: WTCC Race of Japan (Motegi), 11-13 September
Round 10: WTCC Race of China (Shanghai), 25-27 September
Round 11: WTCC Race of Thailand (Buriram), 30 October-1 November
Round 12: WTCC Race of Qatar (Losail), 20-22 November*