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Japanese Grand Prix moves to Fuji 24 Mar 2006

James Hunt (GBR) McLaren M23 overcame the terrible race conditions and a puncture late in the race to take third position and the four points necessary to take his first and only World Championship title. Japanese Grand Prix, Rd 16, Fuji, Japan, 24 October 1976. World ©  Phipps/Sutton

Fuji Speedway near Tokyo is set to host the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix, owners Toyota announced on Friday. The venue, which is due to take over from current hosts Suzuka, staged the very first Japanese race back in 1976.

"We have the pleasure that Fuji Speedway, as the brand new venue nestled at the foot of the most majestic Mount Fuji, will be the new home of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix,” said Bernie Ecclestone of the announcement. “We also have a good expectation that the F1 event there would be the opening of new era of Formula One history."

Fuji was opened in 1966 and quickly became the stage for numerous international and domestic races. It hosted the inaugural Japanese Grand Prix in 1976 when Britain’s James Hunt finished third in heavy rain to clinch that year’s drivers’ title. He then won the last Formula One race at Fuji the following year.

A complete renovation of the circuit and its facilities was completed in 2005, with the revisions earning Fuji a Grade 1 license from the FIA, giving it once more the right to hold Formula One events.

Exact details of the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix will be confirmed later this year when the FIA issues the official race calendar for next season.