Indy Japan 300
Twin Ring Motegi
|First IRL race
||304 miles (489 km)
||Fuji 200 (1966)
Budweiser 500k (1998)
Firestone Firehawk 500k (1999–2001)
Bridgestone Potenza 500k (2002)
Indy Japan 300 (2003-2010)
Indy Japan: The Final (2011)
The Indy Japan 300 presented by Bridgestone was an
Indy Racing League IndyCar Series race held at
Twin Ring Motegi in
Motegi, Japan. The 2008 race marked the historic first ever win for a woman driver in
American open wheel racing when
Danica Patrick of
Andretti-Green Racing took the checkered flag.
The first American open-wheel race in Japan was held in 1966 at
Jackie Stewart won the Fuji Japan 200, which was held as an exhibition race, and no championship points were awarded.
USAC did not return.
For a short period in the late 1980s and early 1990s the
CART series explored the prospects of holding a race in
Japan. Possible locations would be either
Suzuka, Fuji, or a street course in another city. The
FIA objected, citing conflicts with Formula One and other interests. In addition, rules were put into place requiring that any CART race outside of
North America be held on an oval. Despite the objections, in 1991 CART made their first trip across the
Pacific Ocean, and held a street race at
Surfer's Paradise, Australia. The plans for a race in Japan were scrapped.
In 1994, Honda joined the CART series, and by 1996, was widely successful. Interest in holding a race in Japan resurfaced, and upon the completion of the Twin Ring Motegi oval, a race was first held in 1998 without FIA objection. The race continued as a
Champ Car event through 2002. In 2003, Honda switched alliances to the Indy Racing League, and the race became an Indycar Series event. On February 9, 2011, it was announced that the series would not return to Motegi for the