Picturesquely situated at the foot of Mount Fuji, about 40 kilometres from Oyama city centre, the Fuji International Speedway offers more than just a breathtaking view. The Toyota competition’s ‘home and test track’ also has some very special and technically demanding passages to offer.
The race track, opened in 1966 and 5.463 kilometres long, has a long history, albeit with several years of interruption. In order to bring Formula 1 back to the track and make it competitive against the Suzuka International Racing Course, the course was rebuilt in 2005: the curves were expanded, the run-off zones asphalted, and the edge of the speedway framed with more modern and safer kerbs. But the most significant change was the renovation of the new start–finish straight – the highlight of the course. On the straight, which is nearly 1.5 kilometres long, speeds of up to 350 km/h can be reached. The ideal opportunity for drivers to get a decisive tenth of a second with high top speed. But that is not all that the challenging circuit has to offer: there are 10 spectacular right-hand and six left-hand curves waiting for the driver. The most famous curve is the so-called ‘snake curve’. Looking at them from above, from the bird's eye view, it reminds us of the Chinese character shàng. Overall, the speedway is the perfect venue for great motor racing – because its mix of long straights, for which the drivers need little air resistance, and many fast corners, which require as much downforce as possible, presents the drivers with a special challenge.
In 1983, Porsche was already showing the highest performance in this breathtaking scenery: Stefan Bellof drove on the old, 4,360-kilometre-long course, in the fastest ever lap time of 1:10.02 minutes in a Porsche 956. Another record followed last year. Mark Webber made the fastest lap time on the converted course with a strong 1:27:759 minutes. But this was not the only success of 2016: The driver trio Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber prevailed despite difficult weather conditions and drove the 919 Hybrid to 3rd place.
Also during this year, Porsche returned to the start of the famous high-speed circuit – in the seventh of nine WRC-rounds of the FIA World Championship. Official timing partner in the pit lane: the new MONOBLOC Actuator 24h-Chronotimer Limited Edition. Manufactured from titanium motorsport material, it displays not only the highest performance, but also stylistic confidence: its red minute markers and white hands showcase the typical colours of the Porsche GT Factory Team. And the latest innovation – the rocker switch for operating the chronograph function – is found in the high-revving engine of the 911 RSR. In short: made for hunting the fastest times. On the circuit. And in everyday life.
As official timing partner of the Porsche GT Team, we wish the entire Porsche Motorsport Family good luck.