Organisers of the World Touring Car Championship have confirmed that the Japanese round will be run on a shortened version of Suzuka’s circuit, as opposed to the full 5.8km layout used for the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The longer version of the circuit would limit the races to just nine laps apiece (using the rules governing each race distance to a capped 50km length), as well as being unsuitable to the touring car format.
Instead, the event will be run on a shortened 2.2-kilometre configuration, which will see each race run for a more spectator-friendly 23 laps. For those familiar with the F1 layout, the race will run on the opening sector of the circuit through the Esses, whereupon it will curve right back onto the main straight midway through the long Dunlop left-hander that feeds onto the Degner corners.
Suzuka purists – and we at Richard’s F1 are very much in that club – might be disappointed not to have the sight of the touring cars barrelling through the daunting 130R left-hander, as a result of these changes.
The WTCC is making its first visit to the Suzuka circuit this season after moving from its traditional Japanese base at Okayama’s TI Aida circuit, where the Japanese round has been held since 2008.
[Original image via TrackPedia]