Video: Japan GT Championship 2003 Race 7 Highlights
The penultimate round of any Japan GT Championship season is always a dramatic one as some teams finally get eliminated from title contention while others try to score an elusive win when the championship leaders are bogged down by success ballast. For the 2003 season it seemed fitting therefore that the JGTC would hold the race at a track that had a very dramatic origin itself.
Autopolis Circuit was opened in 1990 as one man's motorsport “Field of Dreams”. A super wealthy investment banker and real estate developer conceived of the track as being in an idyllic setting within a national park, having world-class facilities, and eventually playing host to a Formula 1 race. Unlike in the movie however when he built it, “they” didn't come with race organizers panning Autopolis for being far away from hotels and other amenities. Eventually the track's creator went bankrupt and ownership of the facilities changed hands several times.
The racetrack itself has earned praise from drivers who've been on it thanks to challenging curves and elevation changes. After an exhibition race in 1999 the JGTC finally came to Autopolis in 2003 for a proper championship round and the circuit has been a regular venue since then.
This inaugural race in 2003 proved to be a properly exciting contest with close racing, daring strategic choices, and shocking surprises up until the very last lap. Please enjoy the video!