Address: Lihpao International Circuit, No. 185, Section 1, Yuemei East Road, Houli District, Taichung City, Taiwan
PH: +886 4 2558 6086 / +886 4 2558-3478
Circuit type: Permanent road course
Lihpao International Circuit (Chinese: 麗寶國際賽車場) is the latest venture of a rapidly expanding theme park and resort in Taiwan. Opened in 2018, the 'G2' circuit encircles the facility's karting-circuit which opened 12 years previously and has itself been awarded the best in South-East Asia.
Located in the northern Taichung City district of Houli, Lihpao Land is on land that was originally the site of a ranch owned by the Taiwan Sugar Corporation. The theme park in which it sits opened in 1998 and is one of many to spring up across Taiwan. At 53 hectares and still growing, it claims to be the largest land and water park in the country, boasting roller coaster rides, shopping malls, the tallest Ferris wheel in Taiwan, a virtual reality gaming centre and a five-star luxury hotel.
Final plans for the G2 circuit were announced by the Yue-Mei International Development Corp in August 2017, in partnership with Taiwan Audi, completing a 10 year planning process. Construction began soon after, using land on the western edge of the theme park. Construction work was completed quickly, with the circuit ready for operation by 1 November 2018.
It's an impressive venue, boasting a 23-bend main course, which can be divided into three separate circuits. Named the 'Wind', 'Fire' and 'Thunder', supposedly to sum up the characteristics of course, the three variations can be operated simultaneously. There's considerable elevation change, particularly in the challenging 'Fire' section of the course, which unwinds over a height difference of around five storeys.
What catches the eye more than anything are the extremely well-appointed facilities for fans and racers. The main "Welcome Building" has an interactive service centre, exhibition space and car brand boutiques, alongside an industrial innovation space, a children's education centre and a light food area.
The main pit building, or 'Event Centre' as it is named, features garages for 34 teams, a VIP area, podium, race control media centre and multi-purpose room, housed within a Jerez or Macau-style extension over the start-finish straight.
The aim for the circuit is to host three or four major races per year, with an eye on attracting international motorsport. However, problems emerged soon after opening, with noise complaints from neighbours forcing a temporary halt to on-track activities. A new noise-containment plan is being put into place by the circuit, which should hopefully curb these objections and allow racing to finally get underway in 2019.
The Lihpao International Circuit is located in Taichung City, Taiwan. The nearest international airport is Taichung Ching Chuang Kang Airport, around 20 minutes' drive away. Equally, Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport is around 90 minutes' drive to the north.
The circuit is located on the northern outskirts of Taichung City, close to Highways 1 and 4. It is also easy to get by public transport thanks to its location within the Lihpao World theme park. An hourly Ubus bus departs from Taipei Bus Station, taking about an hour, while
Taiwan's high speed rail network is also close by. Take a Taiwan High Speed Rail train to THSR Taichung Station, then catch the free Lihpao Land shuttle bus from Platform 10, with departures at 9:50am, 11:50am, and 1:50pm, taking about 25 minutes. There are also local buses available from the Fengyuan and Taichung railway stations.