A fantastic facility set high in the mountains of South Korea, Inje Speedium (Korean: 인제스피디움) opened in 2013 and already can lay claim to being one of the most exciting venues in the region.
Designed by Wilson Sahara Motorsports, who designed Miller Motorsport Park in the USA among other facilities, Inje features significant elevation changes and several challenging corners, set amongst breathtaking scenery.
The circuit has featured on both the Asian Le Mans Series calendars and is set to host the FIA World Touring Car Cup.
The circuit is part of a larger complex, named the Inje Auto Theme Park, that includes a separate kart racing arena, a 134-room hotel and a condominium with 118 rooms. Originally, it was to be called Inje Autopia, but took on the Speedium moniker soon after opening.
Construction on the 1.05 million square metres site began in August 2010 and was completed in early 2013 at a cost of approximately 206 million won.
The full course resembles a sea horse in outline and measures 2.6 miles and meets FIA Grade 2 standards, allowing for all categories of motor racing below Formula One. The course also has a shorter 1.6 mile north loop and a 0.8 mile southern course, which is intended primarily to be used for driver education purposes. Both north and south loops can operate simultaneously.
Overlooking the start/finish area is an impressive 20,000 seat grandstand, while the hotel and condominium block are located on the outside of Turn Four.
The track opened with a round of the Japanese Super Taikyu series on 25 May 2013, with the Petronas Syntium team dominating in their Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3s. Fariqe Hairuman took the honour of becoming the first victor at the new circuit in the first race, with Jono Lester winning the afternoon race in the same car.
The first season of events was marred by a dispute between the different shareholders and management of the holding company, which initially saw the circuit under lock and key when officials from the Asian Le Mans Series arrived for their pre-event inspection in July. The dispute was resolved in time for the race to go ahead, but resulted in track management asking for the cancellation of the subsequent Japanese Super Formula Race in August.
Moving forward under the new Inje Speedium banner, the circuit has been able to establish itself on the domestic and regional racing scene. As well as the Asian Le Mans Series visits in 2013 and 2014, the circuit has continued to host Super Taikyu and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, while it is set to host the FIA World Touring Car Cup from 2022 onwards, after scheduled events in 2020 and 2021 had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.