Friday, July 1, 2011

Tsukuba Circuit

John Marine | 7/01/2011 01:58:00 PM | |
(UPDATED: June 12, 2012)

The compact circuit north of Tokyo in Ibaraki Prefecture is the Tsukuba Circuit. It has just 1.286 miles of tarmac and has been in existence since 1966 and first raced on in 1970. Its compact depths make it challenging for cars and bikes. The challenge to gain as much speed through such compact space. It has been featured in many video games including the Forza Motorsport series, Gran Turismo Series, Enthusia Professional Racing, D1 Grand Prix, and other games. This race track in Shimotsuma, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan may be the most challenging short race track in the world.


Most information for this blog post supplemented by Wikipedia's entry on Tsukuba Circuit.

--- Tsukuba Circuit ---

Here is a look at Tsukuba:
Tsukuba Circuit
^ from:, by way of - Tsukuba Circuit and its almost 1.3-mile layout.

With all due respect, Tsukuba Circuit proves that you don't have to be some 12+ mile course to be an ultimate proving ground. Tsukuba is an intense proving ground despite its 1.287-mile length.

All of Tsukuba is really tough. The very first corner is absolutely one you must get right because it can set the tone for the rest of the lap. The two hairpins are both intense. The sharp corner leading to the Dunlop Bridge. is pretty sharp as well. Make sure to keep your racing machine stable after passing the Dunlop Bridge leading to the much sharper second hairpin. The outer portions of the track are high speed. That high speed, however, requires some braking on the very long final corner. Very fast cars can clear this course easily in less than a minute.

The motorcycle variation is a chicane that comes up as you cross under the Dunlop Bridge. That configuration extends the 1.271-mile length to 1.287 miles (2.070 km). This chicane is about as sharp as almost as blind as the chicane after the high-speed backstretch at Fuji Speedway (since its 2005 renovation).

Video Preview.

Here is a video lap around Tsukuba:

If you're a drifting fan, check out this demo from Team Orange at Tsukuba:

Lap Records.

The current record of 51.875 was set by Keiichi Tsuchiya. The drifting god did this racing the ARTA Mugen-Dome NSX around Tsukuba. Tsukuba is very famous for its time attack sessions where many racers try to post the fastest lap around this short race track.

Learn more about Tsukuba by visiting, Tsukuba Circuit's homepage (Japanese only). Thank you for reading!

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