Motegi Off Schedule in 2012
February 9, 2011 | 11:56 A.M. EST
Twin Ring Motegi hosted the first international event on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule. (Photo: Getty Images)
The IZOD IndyCar Series will not return to Twin Ring Motegi in 2012.
The series will hold its final event at the 1.5-mile egg-shaped oval located north of Tokyo on Sept. 18, 2011.
"We've enjoyed a great run at Twin Ring Motegi and thank our friends at Mobilityland and Honda Japan for hosting a great event over the past eight years," said Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division for INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series. "While our businesses move in different directions, we will keep the door open for future events at the track.
"As INDYCAR and the IZOD IndyCar Series continue to evaluate their long term plans, we must look to build the sport and its viewership. We believe it is important that the final few events on our schedule give us the opportunity to be broadcast live during times that maximize our viewing audience as we build up to the championship. We will continue to meet with promoters domestically and internationally that want to pursue an IZOD IndyCar Series event.
Scott Sharp won the inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series race at Twin Ring Motegi in 2003. The racetrack also was the site of Danica Patrick's historic win in 2007. Helio Castroneves and Dan Wheldon are two-time winners of the 200-lap race, while Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan also have recorded victories. Castroneves has started from the pole four times, including in September 2010 when he went on to lead 153 laps and claim the victory.
It was the first international event added to the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule. Twin Ring Motegi, which opened in 1997 and is owned by Mobilityland Corp., played host to Champ Car events from 1998 to 2002.