Ebisu circuit, famed for its revered place in the Japanese drifting scene, has been hit hard by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. A landslip was triggered by the quake at Drift Land, one of the facility’s smaller tracks, which was left with badly damaged tarmac.
A huge quantity of earth slid over the Nishi (west) circuit, partially burying buildings and cars before coming to rest at the Kuru Kuru Land skid pan.
The shock occurred just a few weeks away from the 10th anniversary of the devastating 9.0 magnitude Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that hit the region badly. This much more mild quake, which measured at 4.0 on the Richter scale in Tokyo, did not result in any deaths. No one was harmed in the Ebisu slip, although there were over 100 injuries in the wider Fukushima prefecture.
On Sunday, Ebisu Circuit president Nobushige Kumakubo told NHK (translated) that the earthquake “did not cause much damage,” while admitting staff didn’t know the “full extent” due to the track’s access road being blocked by earth.
The good news is Ebisu is made up of seven different tracks and two skid pans, meaning it should still be possible to operate most areas of the facility while repair works are ongoing. Nishi is one of the larger tracks at the site, so it’s a shame to see it out of action. It should however still be possible to open its short configuration, which seems to have escaped damage.
We also understand that while some cars at Ebisu were damaged, most were service vehicles. Meanwhile, all animals at the ajoining Tōhoku Safari Park were unharmed.