IndyCar Series bosses have announced that this year’s race at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan will be run on the road course version of the circuit, as opposed to its traditional home on the oval circuit.
However, earthquake damage to that region of the country – particularly following the monster March quake in nearby Fukushima – has meant that safety concerns have prevailed, with circuit officials declaring they would be unable to repair the damage to the oval circuit in time for the race in September.
However, rather than cancel the event entirely, officials have instead decided to switch the race to the venue’s 2.98-mile road course circuit.
“In conjunction with [circuit owner] Mobilityland, we have made the decision to move forward with our race in Motegi after closely monitoring the on-going situation in Japan for several months,” IndyCar Series boss Randy Bernard said in a statement.
“After weighing a variety of options, we felt it was best to move the race to the road course. We understand that Japan is steadily moving forward with reconstruction and we look forward to entertaining our strong fan base at Motegi with our inaugural run on the road course.”
While IndyCar purists will no doubt be disappointed at the loss of an iconic oval circuit from this year’s calendar, at least some consolation can be taken in the event not being cancelled entirely.