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Designed by John Hugenholtz, the Zandvoort owner, and built in 1963, primarily as a test track for Honda, Suzuka has hosted the Japanese F1 GP since 1987 and is a very popular venue. The Japanese crowds are fanatical, particularly in the late 80´s and early 90´s when McLaren-Honda, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost were at their peak. Always near the end of the F1 Championship calendar, it has been the scene of many memorable moments in recent racing history to decide the Championship.
The facilities and organisation are first-class. The track is a very technical one to drive and consists of a good variety of corners, then the return section is a series of sweeping, fast curves, where drivers experience high G-forces. Its unique feature is the cross-over which means that, unusually, there is an almost equal number of left- and right-hand turns.
At nearly 6 km in length, it is one of the longest tracks on the international calendar. The annual international GT/Sportscar 1000km race is usually held in mid-summer when drivers often have trouble coping with the immense heat.