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2008 Toyota Motorsports Festival - Fuji Speedway, Shizuoka, Japan

Tetsuya Ogushi
Mar 1, 2009
130_0903_01_z+toyota_motorsports_festival+mount_fuji Photo 1/15   |   2008 Toyota Motorsports Festival - Fuji Speedway, Shizuoka, Japan

Every November, after the race season is finished, Japanese Big three (Toyota, Nissan and Honda) organize the big event at the racetrack for thanking supporters of the race. Honda's event is in Twin Ring Motegi. Nissan and Toyota's event is in Fuji Speedway. You can see the Super GT race cars, Formula One and Formula Nippon race cars, historic old race cars in the same place. If you like motorcycles, you can see the racing bikes at Honda's event. I think just display of race cars is not interesting. Japanese big three know it, that's why you can see the running racecars as pro-race car drivers drive on the racetrack. You see the Super GT race cars, NASCAR and Formula One on the same racetrack at same time. It's very rare situation. I think we can see the very rare situation in only Japan. I recommend you come to the Japanese Big three events in Japan if you could not take vacation for coming to Tokyo Auto Salon in January. I went to Toyota Motor Sport Festival (TMSF) in Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka prefecture from Tokyo by train because I wanted to check it out. I can take the train for going to the event or not because I was thinking many Gaijin tourists are afraid of driving cars in Japan. I know rent a car and go to the racetrack is easy for me but very difficult for you. I took Odakyu Limited Express train "Asagiri" from "Shinjyuku" station and go to "Gotemba" station. It was about one hour forty minutes trip. At Gotemba station I took the shuttle bus bound for Fuji Speedway. There is shuttle bus when Fuji Speedway organize big race event. If you remember the direction, you could also go to the Super GT event at Fuji Speedway. If you could rent a car for going to Fuji Speedway, I would like to say "Take Care" because there are many police officers around Fuji Speedway and the expressway, checking for speed by radar. Some police officers can speak English very well. Anyway, Toyota takes part in Formula One, NASCAR, Super GT and Formula Nippon. That's why I could see Formula One drivers, NASCAR driver and Super GT drivers in same place. I saw Taniguchi (drifting ARISTO) and Ueno (Soarer/SC300) and Orido (his private drifting Supra) because TMSF organized a drifting show. I think Orido was very busy at that time because Orido was driving Lexus IS250 Super GT race car in 2008 and he took part in NASRACE in USA and Japan.

That's why he drove IS250, Camry NASCAR, drifting car, gave autograph and was on the talk show. NASCAR diver, Denny Hamlin was there but NASCAR is not popular in Japan. I think many people didn't know who Denny Hamlin was. There is oval racetrack only in Twin Ring Motegi in Japan. Motegi and Honda organize Indy car race but do not organize NASCAR race. Honda built few Acura LS NASCAR race cars which had Acura's V6 motor. But Acura NASCAR race cars do not follow the NASCAR regulation. At TMSF, some lucky people could sit in the navigation seat in IS-F as Formula One drivers drove. That was a rare chance for seeing Formula One driver's driving skill. There was "Circuit Safari Tour" attraction. This tour is the bus running on the racetrack (of course bus is slow!) and Toyota's Super GT race cars pass the bus on the racetrack. The passengers of the bus can see the high speed race cars pass you in short distance. Pro-race car drivers were acting tour guides on the bus and telling driving skill of Super GT race cars. There were many shops behind the grand stand. They were selling used racing suit as pro-race car drivers used it, used parts of Super GT race cars and miniature cars of Super GT race cars. TRD displayed Corolla Axio N2 race car. It was new race car for the one-make race. 1500cc motor plus turbo can make 182hp. It had over fender, big rear wing and slick tires. I want to drive it because TRD Corolla N2 is my favorite car but completed Corolla N2 race will be over $40000 US! (Don't kill my dreams Tetsu! -SK). Why is there no event like TMSF in USA? I guess "Super Lap Battle" is close to TMSF. I think that is good chance to talk to pro-tuners and pro-race car drivers at Super Lap Battle in Button Willow in November. There were some Japanese D1 drivers and Formula D drivers in there. Please come to next Super Lap Battle!

By Tetsuya Ogushi
3 Articles

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