Monday, March 1, 2010

Fuji International Speedway (Current Configuration)

John Marine | 3/01/2010 07:01:00 PM | |
Since the 1960s, Fuji Speedway has long played host to Formula 1's Japanese Grand Prix. The track remains mostly a high-speed playground. The trademark of this course is beautiful Mount Fuji in the distance. Of course, Mount Fuji is the national symbol of Japan. I was appalled when Hermann Tilke screwed up another classic racing track, just to make it F1 suitable. The second half of this circuit was butchered severely. I'm here to talk about the Fuji Speedway in this blog entry.

--- Fuji Speedway ---
Here is a map of the F1 configuration:

^ source:

--- Fuji Speedway Lap ---
Fuji Speedway is a course where you'll need some great speed, but also a good setup to navigate the tricky corners, especially in the second half of this course. It used to be that this course didn't have an extra chicane after the second hairpin. One was installed later. The new circuit retains most of its past character, but mostly the first half of the circuit. I think Herman Tilke was trying to maintain the character of the old course while not making it completely foreign with the new modifications. Whether or not Tilke did good is your call. I WILL, however, hand Hermann Tilke credit for this- the runoff area is much needed in case a racing machine veers too far off course.

The front stretch will really test your engine. It probably is a given that your rev limiter will be getting a workout if you set a car up for acceleration rather than top speed. You're going full speed into Turn 1. Judging your distance and attacking the corner properly is an absolute must. I sometimes don't know the best braking point even when playing Gran Turismo 4 and Tourist Trophy. Turn 2 is basically a kink in the road to upset your car a little more. Turn 3 can be taken at moderate speed, but is nonetheless a tricky corner. Turns 4 and 5 make up 100R. You'll need either light braking or let off the throttle just a bit to properly reach the hairpin at Turn 6. Turns 7 and 8 complete the old Fuji Speedway. Now, get ready for the new Fuji. Turn 9 basically continues the backstretch. Turn 10 may have a chicane afterwards or just be a slow corner. Turns 10 and 11 of the chicaned course can be a nightmare. At least there was character with the 1990s course and the chicane to that one. This one is just a terrible layout. Turn 12 is a small kink in the road leading up to the sharp right corner at 13. Turns 14 is a decreasing radius corner, and Turn 15 is REALLY sharp. You then to go Turn 16. Afterwards, lead foot like hell down the Fuji straight to complete a lap and start a new one!

Or... let this video do the talking:

At least this new course wasn't completely destroyed like what Hermann Tilke did with Hockenheim. Thank you very much for reading. Hope you have a lovely day/night! :)
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