Motor racing-Japan's Motegi circuit to leave IndyCar series

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TOKYO, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Japan's Twin Ring Motegi circuit will host an IndyCar race for the last time this year for financial reasons, local organisers said on Wednesday.

The decision ends an eight year involvement with the U.S. open-wheel series at the distinctive Honda-owned track north of Tokyo that saw American Danica Patrick become IndyCar's first female race winner in 2008.

"We have decided, albeit regrettably, that it is extremely difficult for the company to keep hosting a round of IndyCar Series in the face of the ongoing business environment," Hiroshi Oshima, president of Honda's Mobilityland Corp, said in a statement.

Terry Angstadt, president of IndyCar's commercial division, said in the joint announcement that while both sides were moving apart "we will keep the door open for future events at the track".

Honda currently provide all engines for the mainly U.S.-based series, whose only other race outside North America is in Brazil, in a three-year deal ending next year.

Formula One still has a Japanese Grand Prix at the Honda-owned Suzuka circuit, although Honda and Toyota have quit the sport along with tyre supplier Bridgestone.

(Writing by Alan Baldwin in london, editing by Ken Ferris; To query or comment on this story emailsportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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