EMS Race Team returns to Japan this week to compete in the Ferrari Challenge at Fuji Speedway on October 14-16. The last time driver James Weiland and his crew from Boardwalk Ferrari performed on a Japanese stage they closed the curtain on a race weekend that resulted in two first-place finishes. During that March trip overseas, Weiland tested his skills against some of the best drivers in the world at the Suzuka Circuit. This time, he’ll be racing at the only other Japanese track to host a Formula One event in the world-famous Speedway at Fuji.
“We’re excited to get back to Japan,” Weiland said. “It seems like only yesterday we were there racing at Suzuka, but that was actually over seven months ago. Time flies. But even though we were locked in last time, we know this is an entirely different challenge. Fuji has one of the largest straights in racing to go along with a series of hairpin turns, so it’s going to be a fast track and we will have our hands full. Hopefully, we can put forth our best effort all weekend long and rise to the occasion as a team against a very talented field of drivers.”
Fuji Speedway was built in the early 1960s and rests in the foothills of Mount Fuji. They’ve hosted many significant races throughout the years, including the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix. One of the most memorable races came in 1976, when James Hunt and Niki Lauda—featured in the movie Rush—battled through rainy conditions to decide the F1 season standings on the track at Fuji. Hunt earned enough points to win the title after Lauda withdrew due to dangerous conditions. Meanwhile, a young Mario Andretti won the race while beginning his eventually ascension to the top of the Formula One world. Other notable F1 winners at Fuji also include Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton.
“It’s an historic track without question,” Weiland added of Fuji. “We’re especially excited with the opportunity we have to wave the flags for Cornerstone of Hope and PETA Cruelty Free while we’re racing there. The Asian Pacific Series does a tremendous job, and it will be a vibrant scene on Saturday and Sunday that we’re looking forward to taking part in. Hopefully we can put our best foot forward and raise awareness for both missions with a podium finish.”
Weiland is currently tied for first place in the North American Ferrari Challenge season standings. Points earned in Fuji will not directly relate to those North American totals. However, this will be a great test in preparation for races at Homestead and Daytona which follow the event in Fuji. For more behind the scenes coverage throughout race weekend in Japan, visit @emsRaceTeam on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vimeo.