The IZOD IndyCar Series is making a shift in its fall race in Japan.
The IZOD IndyCar Series announced Friday that it will run the 2.98-mile, natural-terrain road course during its final visit to the Twin Ring Motegi motorsports facility in Japan on Sept. 18.
The race was originally scheduled for the 1.5-mile, egg-shaped oval, but that sustained damage during the March earthquakes. Raised ridges to the track surface prevent the IZOD IndyCar Series cars from competing on the oval.
"In conjunction with Mobilityland, we have made the decision to move forward with our race in Motegi after closely monitoring the ongoing situation in Japan for several months," said Randy Bernard, CEO, IndyCar. "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."
Earlier this year the series announced that the race will be its final one at the facility. Twin Ring Motegi, which is owned by Mobilityland Corp., opened in 1997 and has played host to open-wheel events since 1998.
"We have decided to change the racing track for the Indy Japan 300 this year to the road course," said Hiroshi Oshima, president of Mobilityland Corp. "We had examined the option of restoration work to the oval, but considering the large-scale public works impact on society in this circumstance and the cost entailed, we felt it was best to move the race to the road course. Though we have been forced to change what we have been doing by the earthquake disaster, we will make sure our fans experience another exciting race."