Famed circuit damaged in Japanese earthquake

Damage to the Ebisu Circuit / photo: Kyodo News

An earthquake off the coast of Japan has damaged facilities at the Ebisu Circuit, one of the country’s most iconic drifting parks.

The incident comes almost 10 years after the Tohoku earthquake, which killed over 15,000 people.

Sunday night’s earthquake, considered to be an aftershock from the 2011 event, registered a magnitude of 7.1 resulting in 151 injuries. There were no injuries reported at the circuit.

Located in the Fukushima Prefecture, the Ebisu Circuit is home to seven courses catering primarily to drifters and karting.

While most of the circuits appear to have escaped harm, images out of Japan show damage to the Drift Land course as a result of a landslide.

The landslide has covered part of the lower West Course, damaging pit lane buildings and cars, though it is not yet known whether the landslide has damaged the asphalt.

Nobushige Kumakubo, president of the Ebisu Circuit, said evaluations were ongoing to determine the damage to the facility which has been closed.

“The Great East Japan Earthquake did not cause much damage,” said Kumakubo.

“The road leading to the course is blocked by earth and sand, so we do not know the full extent of the damage.”

The Ebisu Circuit has traditionally hosted Formula Drift Japan and D1GP year on year, often featuring on the West Course and nearby Drift Stadium.

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