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Mount Fuji Speedway

Mount Fuji Speedway is a former Formula One race track that stands in the foothills of the majestic peak.

The track was designed to be as a 2 1/2 mile high-banked super-speedway[?], but there was not enough money to complete the project and only one of the bankings was ever designed. Converted to a road course, the circuit opened in December of 1965 and proved to be somewhat dangerous with the banked turn regularly resulting in major accidents. A new part of track was built to counteract the problem, and the resultant 2.7 mile course proved more successful. The speedway brought the first Formula 1 race to Japan at the end of the 1976 season. The race had a dramatic World Championship battle between James Hunt[?] and Niki Lauda, and in awful rainy conditions, Hunt earned enough points to win the title. Mario Andretti[?] would win the race.

There was less celebration after the second race in 1977 after Gilles Villeneuve was involved in a crash that killed two people on the side of the track. It would be the second and last race the Fuji circuit would host a F1 race and when Japan earned another race on the F1 schedule 10 years later, it went to Suzuka[?] instead.

Fuji remains a popular sports car championship venue and is often used for national races. In recent years, Toyota has begun plans to upgrade the circuit in the hopes that it will re-earn the Japanese GP.

The Fuji circuit is well known to fans of the game Pole Position, as cars raced on the circuit in the popular coin-op.



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