Sportsland SUGO - The biggest motorsports venue in Japan
Although probably not the best-known racing venue, Sportsland SUGO, opened in 1975, is still the largest motorsports facility in Japan.
Big sports complex near Sendai
The circuit is located near the town of Murata, in Shibata District, Miyagi Prefecture, in the northeast of Honshu island. It was opened in 1975 as a race and test facility with three race courses – road race course, motocross course and go-kart course, with a course for motorcross trials also available. Therefore, it is not surprising that the complex extends to 2.1 million square meters in the rural hillside.
Motorsports became a priority
Until 2005, the Sportsland SUGO venue was more than just a motorsports facility: it was a multi-sports complex with tennis courts, swimming pools, football grounds, hotels and other leisure and recreational facilities, but since 2005, this venue, owned by Yamaha Motor Company Ltd and ran by Sugo Company Ltd, is focused solely on various motorsports categories.
Huge reconstruction was made in 1987
Over the years, Sportsland SUGO was used exclusively for the various national racing events, in both cars and motorcycles championships, but also for the Motocross World Championship. The main road track has been changed several times. The biggest change was made in 1987 when the track was almost completely modified, widened, and upgraded. During that reconstruction, a new pit lane and garages for 30 cars were also built.
Modified and modernized, Sportsland SUGO was able to bring more races and different competitions. Even after not being famous like Suzuka or Fuji circuits, this circuit became one of the best racing venues in Japan, though never got the opportunity to host any of the major international cars racing series. However, from 1988 until 2003, the venue hosted a round of World Superbike Championship.
Super GT race is the main event at the Sportsland SUGO circuit
Nowadays, Sportsland SUGO is a 3.737 km long track with 13 turns, and with the longest straight of 704.5 m. It is 10-12.5 meters wide and has an altitude difference of 70 meters. The stands capacity is around 50.000 but they are rarely full. The best-visited event is the Super GT championship race while other major events held there are Super Formula and All Japan Road Race Championship.
Three tracks available
West Course of the Sportsland SUGO is made mainly for go-kart races. It is 943.3 meters long, 9.9 m wide, and is suitable for night racing. The International Motocross Course is 1.6 km long and has 13 jumps and is considered as the best course of that type in Japan and probably in Asia. The racing layout could be adjusted for different types of races.
Getting to Sportsland SUGO and accommodation
The nearest airport is in Sendai, some 30 minutes by car from the circuit, and it has many international flights as well good connections with Tokyo. The train connection is also available and with the famous Tokohu Shinkansen, you will need 90 minutes from Tokyo to Sendai. By bus, you’ll need around 60 minutes from Sendai East JR station to reach the circuit.
There is no accommodation available nearby, so if you want to watch some of the Japan’s top racing events, you have to chose between many hotels in Sendai, Iwanuma, Natori or some other cities near the venue.
Video : Lap around Sportsland Sugo
Address: Sportland Sugo, 6-1 Sugo Murata-machi, Shibata-gun, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
Phone: +81 224 83 3111
Official website: sportsland-sugo.co.jp