In a country famous for its whacky television programs, obscure vending machines and unique pop culture comes an equally bizarre motorsport viewing concept, the ‘Circuit Safari’.
At the recent World Endurance Championship (WEC) held at Fuji in Japan the organisers trialled the Circuit Safari where buses carried spectators and members of the media around the racetrack while the cars sped by on a damp circuit.
Part of me thought ‘wow that’s cool!’, but another part of me thought ‘wow, that’s dangerous’! As a motorsport patron you are reminded on every ticket you purchase to an event that ‘motorsport in dangerous’.
Social media was abound with positive comments about how fantastic the experience was and even CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship Gerard Neveu said: “We were very happy to work with our local promoter to hold the first Circuit Safari in the WEC, and it’s great to hear that it was such a success for fans, teams and media alike.”
But motorsport can be unpredictable even when everything seems to be under control. Suspension or a rear wing can fail without warning that could potentially cause a devastating accident for both the driver and spectators alike.
Although the race cars didn’t appear to be travelling at full speed while the Fuji Circuit Safari was occurring I can only imagine that this is where the concept is heading.
For me, if the Circuit Safari concept is going to remain as an interactive way to view our favourite motorsport event, then it should only be done while cars are doing demonstration laps and it should not occur in wet conditions like those at Fuji.