Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have heard about the earthquakes in Japan. There is no need for me to go into the details of the travesty, as the news has provided us with plenty of food for thought about how fragile life really is.
Among the area covered by the widespread devastation in Japan lie a few of Japan’s iconic racetracks. Suzuka Circuit, Motegi, and Ebisu Circuit.
The hardest hit of the three, Ebisu is one of the most widely used and appreciated drifting circuits in the world. Home to many of the different D1 drifting levels, semi-annual Matsutri events, and daily open track drift days, it is the epicenter of Japanese drifting.
Reports from powervehicles.com document the damage to the course. Garages containing sleeping competition and street cars were destroyed, leaving the cars to be rescued by any means possible. Luckily they were able to recruit some heavy machinery to help pull the cars out.
Powervehicles’ JZX100 was in quite the predicament, teetering over the edge of a semi-collapsed garage
With the help of this big guy and some serious creativity, they were able to get it out.
The empty garage shows the severity of the damage here.
Although it has only been just over a month since the initial 8.9 earthquake, the crew at Ebisu already have the circuit repaired and their annual Spring Matsuri event is set to take place April 30th. We applaud their speedy and impressive recovery!
Thankfully, the track and garages at Motegi did not suffer nearly as much destruction as Ebisu, however we understand that the paddock area has been damaged and their MotoGP event was postponed to October 2nd.
Suzuka, pictured above, was south enough that the earthquake and aftershocks were not strong enough to damage the course. However, the Formula 1 race scheduled is 5 months away, and the social unrest and infrastructure damage in Japan right now is leaving some questions as to whether or not the race will take place. Looming nuclear meltdowns are also not out of the question, which would add further complications for Japan to host a race. In fact, drivers in last weekend’s Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix were warned extensively about the possible radiation coming in to China from Japan.
We hope not only for the sake of motorsports that the turmoil in Japan will soon settle down. To all of our family, friends, and readers who are in Japan or have contacts there, we wish you all the best of luck and commend your bravery through this difficult time. Also we would like to thank all of you who have donated to the many relief efforts to aid in Japan’s recovery.