Disgruntled fans are preparing to take Fuji Speedway to court after claiming that the circuit failed to live up to their expectations when it returned to the Formula One schedule in 2007.

Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reports that around 70 individuals are planning to sue the circuit for what they claim was 'gross mismanagement' of the event, which was blighted by often torrential rain, in an attempt to recoup not only the money they spent on tickets, but also several thousand yen worth of damages.

The basis of their claims, which will be put in front of Tokyo District Court next month, centres on the fact that the view from their seats was obstructed and that they suffered from the traffic chaos caused by a one-way system and the enforced use of shuttle buses.

Many spectators seated in makeshift stands erected behind more permanent facilities in order to cater for the demand for tickets at the event complained that their view was blocked for parts of the race, while traffic jams blighted ingress and egress from the circuit, with fans obliged to wait long periods of time to use the shuttle bus service mandated by organisers.

Fuji has already admitted that there were teething problems with its first grand prix since the 1970s, but the refunds already offered did not go far enough, according to the group now seeking redress. The circuit is reported to have returned 50,000 yen to 7100 spectators who had bought 61,000-yen tickets for reserved seats whose views were partly obstructed. The amount equates to the difference in price between reserved and non-reserved seats. The venue also refunded tickets to some 85 people who could prove that they had not been able to get into the circuit before the race started.

However, that was not enough to satisfy the latest group, who have been scouting for more affected parties via the internet.

"Besides those who got refunds, many suffered pain," a spokesman for the group insisted, "The refund criteria are not fair, [and] we would like to let the reality of the damage be known better through the lawsuit."

Fuji is scheduled to stage this year's Japanese Grand Prix in October.



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