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special guests

SUZUKA Sound of ENGINE 2019

  • Thierry Boutsen

    Thierry Boutsen

    Thierry Boutsen, who made his debut in F1 with Arrows at the Rd.6 Belgian GP in 1983, continued to have a successful career finishing in the 6th position at the opening race of the following season. He achieved his first podium in second position in 1985 at Rd3 San Marino GP. Then in 1989 after moving to Williams he won two races, the Rd6 Canadian GP and the final round of that season finishing the season in the 5th position in the drivers ranking. Later Thierry Boutsen decides to continue his career on the wheel of the Jordan and Ligier making 15 podiums including 3 wins and two 3rd positions at the podium at the Suzuka GP in 1988 and 1989 collecting a total of 132 points before he left the F1 in 1993.

  • Wayne Rainey

    Wayne Rainey

    Wayne Rainey begun his racing career on dirt track racing back in 1977 and only joined the World Grand Prix 250cc Class in 1984, the year after his Champion victory in the AMA Superbike Championship with a Honda. After returning to the AMA Superbike series, Rainey wins another AMA Superbike Championship in 1987. The following year, in1988, Wayne Rainey enters full season in the World Grand Prix 500cc Class with the YAMAHA and from 1990, wins three consecutive Championships in the same 500cc Class. Although the multiple on-track battles with Suzuki's Kevin Schwantz have made history for both, Rainey's rapid moves into the lead, better known as the "Rainey's Pattern", have forever remained.

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  • Eddie Lawson

    Eddie Lawson

    Eddie Lawson, better known as "Steady Eddie" for his riding precision and always perfect timing for when to defend and when to attack. Eddie has built his deep roots in dirt track racing. Eddie first joined the 8 Hour of Suzuka Endurance Race on a Kawasaki in 1980. In both 1981 and 1982, Eddie won the AMA Super Bike Championship, leaving it to join the World Grand Prix 500cc with the YAMAHA in 1983. Eddie Lawson wins this Championship in his second year 1984, 1985 and 1986 as well as in 1988. In 1989 Eddie Lawson moves on to Honda and once again wins the Grand Prix Championship. In 1991 Eddie returns to Suzuka to win the 8 Hour of Suzuka Endurance Race together with teammate Tadanori Taira with the YAMAHA.

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  • Kenny Roberts

    Kenny Roberts

    Kenny Roberts or rather "King Kenny", made his debut in amateur racing at the age of 14 back in 1965. Kenny Roberts achieved his first three consecutive Championship win in the 500cc Class since 1978, when he first joined the World Grand Prix. In 1983, after a fierce and historical battle against Honda's freshman Freddie Spencer, Kenny retires from the World Grand Prix. "King Kenny" continues to be adored by fans from all over the world also for his "rear tire sliding" as well as his "hang on" styles.

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  • Pier Luigi Martini

    Pier Luigi Martini

    Pier Luigi Martini makes his racing debut in the F1 as a spot entry with Toleman team in 1984 followed by a full F1 season with Minardi in 1985. After two years away, in 1988, Martini returns to the F1 by joining Rd6 the American GP giving Minardi's their first points ever in the Formula one by achieving the 6th position and also winning himself the regular driver seat with the team. Martini raced in 119 rounds until he retired in 1995, in the points ranking ten times and marking one fastest lap. After leaving the F1 world, Pier Luigi Martini has later raced in the FIA GT as well as in the ALMS, the 24Hours of Les Mans and many other racing events. In 1999, Martini wins the overall first position in the 24 hours of Les Mans, on the wheel of the BMW V12 LMR.

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  • Haruhito Yanagida

    Haruhito Yanagida

    Mr. Yanagida, who ran “Central 20” a car tuning shop, made his debut as a racing driver at the Fuji GC Super Silhouette (SS) in the year of 1969. After having achieved the SS Championship in both 1980 and 1983, in 1987 YANAGIDA joined in the Class 2 of the JTC (All Japan Touring Car Series) with Japan's first BMW M3 sharing the wheel with Will Hoy. Although he joined only the last half of the season, Yanagida won two races and the Series Championship. However, Yanagida is better known as “Z Yanagida” because of his long and brilliant career on the wheel of the Nissan Fairlady Z.


  • Masami Kuwashima

    Masami Kuwashima

    KUWASHIMA's debut was in 1969. His trademark; the black helmet and black racing machine, hence the term; the “Black Lightning” always challenging the works teams. After achieving good results in Japan with the Fairlady Z432 Kawashima crosses over to England to create a private F3 team which he raced in Silverstone and which gave him a fabulous victory. After winning many victories all around Europe with his F3 team in 1973, in 1974 he decided to step up to join the European F2 Series. after 1975 Kuwashima returns to Japan to join the Fuji GC and the All Japan F2 championship. In 1979 together with Fumiyasu Sato they win the Suzuka500 Mile Race on the wheel of the March73S Mazda.


  • Motoharu Kurosawa

    Motoharu Kurosawa

    KUROSAWA, first a Honda motorcycle racer, won the 50cc Class in the All Japan Championship road race held in Suzuka Circuit in 1092 before he shifted to the four wheel to become a Nissan Works driver in 1965. Then in 1969, when both Toyota and Nissan joined the 6th Japan Grand Prix better yet known for its high displacement – big machine dream battles, Kurosawa won the big battle on the wheel of the Nissan R382. After that he joined several series including the F2000 Championship and the Fuji GC and did win many races. In 1973 he achieved the Champion title for the All Japan F2000. Later in 2013 Mr. Kurosawa became the team director for the SUPER GT GT300 Class team LEON Racing with one of his sons on the wheel and in 2018 the team wins the SUPER GT Series Championship.


  • Hiroshi Fushida

    Hiroshi Fushida

    FUSHIDA entered the race world in 1965 on the wheel of a Honda S600 at the age of 19. And right the following year he is invited to join the Toyota works team and challenge the Speed Trail in the 2000GT achieving numerous world records. From 1968 Fushida joined big races such as the Japan Grand Prix, the North American Can-Am and other races on the wheel of the Toyota7. In 1970 he raced in the Big Formula in America as well as the Formula A, and in 1973 on the wheel of the Sigma MC73 and teaming with Toru Ikuzawa, they become the first Japanese to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 1975 Fushida enters the British GP and the Dutch GP with the Maki F1, a made in Japan F1 racing machine, becoming the first ever Japanese racing driver to race in the Formula 1 series.


  • Akihiko Nakaya

    Akihiko Nakaya

    NAKAYA debuts in the FL while still a university student. In 1987 he joins the All Japan F3 and wins the championship in 1988. In 1989 he goes on to join the F3000 and the JSPC (All Japan Sports Prototype Endurance). In 1992 Nakatani signs a contract with Brabham Team to race in the F1 series, however unfortunately a project never to be realized since he was unable to achieve the international racing license. Then in 1994 he joins the All Japan Touring Car Championship and from 1995 in the N1Endurance Series. From 1998 Nakatani continues into a very successful racing career in the GT300 in the All Japan GT Championship. Particularly in the N1 Endurance (presently Super TAIKYU) Nakatani has successfully achieved many titles. And in 1997 he established the “NAKAYA JUKU” a school for training young racing talent.


  • Chiyomi Totani

    Chiyomi Totani

    Totani made his race debut in 1973. Concentrated, in the endurance modality, together with Fumiyasu Sato in the March73S Mazda, they successfully achieved two consecutive overall wins in both 1981 and 1982 at the Fuji 500 Mile Race. In 1983 Totani teams up with Taku Akaike and on the wheel of the Mazda RX7 finishes 3rd both at the International Suzuka 500km race and at the Suzuka 1000km with the March 83C Mazda. In 1985, this time with Noritake Takahara they finish 3rd at the Fuji 1000km. From 1986 Totani moves to Porsche, once again races the Fuji 1000km race, this time with two teammates; Takahara and Kenji Tohira to finish the race again in the overall 3rd position on the podium. In 1987 Totani continues racing, this time in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) held at Fuji Speedway on the wheel of the Porsche 962C.


  • Naoki Nagasaka

    Naoki Nagasaka

    NAGASAKA race debut was in 1972. The following year he won the Suzuka Silver Cup Champion race and entered the All Japan F2 Championship in 1975. In 1982, Nagasaka achieved a double title after having won both the Fuji Super Silhouette and the Fuji Long Distance on the wheel of the BMW-M1. He also achieved the Championship title on the 1984 All Japan Endurance Championship again in the BMW M1 and in 1985 on the wheel of the BMW 635 the overall champion title at the first ever JTC (All Japan Touring Car Championship). In 1987 Nagasaka won the championship on the wheel of the Ford Sierra while meanwhile also racing in the All Japan GT Championship on the wheel of the Toyota Supra.


  • Youjirou Terada

    Youjirou Terada

    TERADA better known for “Mr. Le Mans” due to his regular participation in the 24 hours of Le Mans. Terada first joined the 24 Hours of Le Mans over 40 years ago in 1974 on the wheel of the Sigma MC47. He won the Class victory in 1983, 88 and 1990 but besides the Le Mans, Terada also raced in the Daytona 24hours and Spa 24hour race making the endurance racing his main career. In 2003 and due to his many years of experience, Terada was elected a director member in the ACO, the organizer of the Le Mans 24h. And in 2010 Mr. Terada was elected by the Ministry of Tourism, as the first Tourism Meister of Japan.


  • Masahiro Hasemi

    Masahiro Hasemi

    After joining the motocross world at the age of 15, HASEMI began his successful career in the four wheels racing world winning his debut race as a manufacture driver on the wheel of the NISSAN in 1964. In 1976 at Fuji F1 In Japan Hasemi drove his Kojima KE007 recording a memorable lap time during the qualifying session. And in 1980 Hasemi was the first racing driver in the Japanese racing history to achieve the 4 crowns of the year by winning the Fuji GC, All Japan F2, Suzuka F2 and the Formula Pacific. In 1992 Hasemi teams up with Kazuyoshi Hoshino and Toshio Suzuki and together on the wheel of the NISSAN R92CP decide to race the Daytona 24hours and become the first Japanese team to achieve the victory. Hasemi is one of the Japanese drivers to enjoy one of the longest racing careers.


  • Hideo Fukuyama

    Hideo Fukuyama

    FUKUYAMA debut was in the FL500 back in 1977. After that, he stepped up to the All- Japan F3 and from 1990 joined the All Japan F3000 Championship, the pinnacle of Japanese motorsport at the time. On the other hand, Fukuyama had participated in the Le Mans 24 hour in 1988 and the Spa 24hour race in 1990. Then since 1992 he joined the All Japan Touring Car Championship (JTC) achieving the champion title in Class 1 at his rookie year and proving his talent both in formula cars and “box” cars. Fukuyama won also numerous titles both in the All Japan GT Championship GT300 Class and in the Super N1 Endurance. Furthermore, after having participated in the NASCAR at Suzuka Circuit in 2003, he decided to join the American NASCAR full series. Also since the year 2000, Fukuyama returned to the Le Mans 24 hours to win the LM-GT Class.


  • Kazuyoshi Hoshino

    Kazuyoshi Hoshino

    HOSHINO won his fist All Japan Motocross Championship in 1967 and the following year moved to the 4-wheel racing world wining the F2000 Championship title in 1975. After having won in numerous of the national series Hoshino was nominated “the fastest man in Japan”. After achieving the FUJI GC, the All Japan F2, the F3000 and many other titles, Hoshino raced two consecutive years, 1976 and 77 in the F1 Championship at Fuji Speedway. In 1992, together with Toshio Suzuki and Takao Wada joined the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship (JSPC) with the NISSAN R92CP and achieved the champions’ title. Presently, Mr. Hoshino is the team director or TEAM IMPUL one of the national top category teams.

  • Harukuni Takahashi

    Harukuni Takahashi

    After his debut in 1966, in 1968 Harukuni Takahashi won the Drivers’ Championship in the All Japan Toyota Corolla T-1 Class. The following years still on the wheel of the Corolla and the Celica as the Toyota works driver, Takahashi made history through many aggressive battles with the NISSAN Works drivers which eventually opened the gate to his Japanese GP debut with the Toyota 7. With the dissolution of the Toyota works team he withdrew from the front line until 1974 when he joined the Le Mans race on the wheel of the rotary engine made in Japan, Sigma MC74. The following year Takahashi returned with the Toyota turbo engine Sigma MC75 before leaving the racing driver status to become a very successful team owner.

  • Tsugio Matsuda

    Tsugio Matsuda

    In 1998 Matsuda began his double racing career by entering the All Japan F3 Championship with also a spot entry in the highest Formula category; the Japan Nippon (now the Super Formula) one year after having graduated from the Suzuka Circuit Racing School (SRS). The in the year 2000, only 3 years into his career, Tsugio Matsuda was already signed up full season with the Formula Nippon where he became the first racing driver to win two consecutive Championships; in 2007 and 2008. Then in 2014 and 2015 again Matsuda won the Championship in the SUPER GT GT500 Class, two consecutive years. Tsugio Matsuda continues his successful racing career representing Japan both nationally and occasionally overseas.

  • Daisuke Nakajima

    Daisuke Nakajima

    Daisuke Nakajima is one of Satoru Nakajima two sons, the first Japanese F1 regular driver. Daisuke Nakajima’s car racing history seriously stated in 2006 at age 15 after graduating from Suzuka Circuit Racing School (SRS- Formula). In 2011 Daisuke joined the Formula Nippon (now Super Formula) with team NAKAJIMA RACING directed by father Mr. Satoru Nakajima, after having racing with the F3 since 2009. In 2012 Daisuke joins also the SUPER GT300 moving up to the GT500 class the following season. Daisuke left the Super Formula in 2017, joined the TEAM MUGEN in the GT500 the same year and continues to perform a prosperous racing career.

  • Hiroyuki Kawasaki

    Hiroyuki Kawasaki

    At the age of 20, Hiroyuki Kawasaki signs a contract with Suzuki in the Motocross Series before moving to the road racing world. In 1967 H. Kawasaki achieves the 3rd position in the 50cc category at the Japan GP at the time held at Fuji Speedway, moving on to Yamaha the following year. In 1970 he achieves the All Japan Senior over 251cc Class Champion title before moving to Suzuki in 1977 in order to develop the RG500. H. Kawasaki also won the Indonesian GP in both 1976 and 77. In 1979 he spot-entered the WGP GP500cc Class which opened the doors for him to return to Yamaha in 1983. While developing the WGP machine; the YZR500 H. Kawasaki continued to race in both the All Japan and World Championship before retiring in 1983.

  • Masaru Mizutani

    Masaru Mizutani

    Mizutani made his debut in 1976. In 1979 the 750cc Class Champion title in the All Japan Road Race Championship gave him the opportunity to sign the contract and become a Suzuki rider in 1981. In 1982, after winning 7 of the All Japan Road Race Championship races, he achieved the champion’s title in the International A grade 500cc Class. This gave Mizutani the opportunity to spot-enter the World GP. Mizutani is also well remembered by the fans for his fierce battles against Yamaha ace rider, Tadahiko Taira during the 1980’s. From 1998 he joined also the 8 Hour of Suzuka. Presently Mizutani enters with his own team at both the All Japan Road Race Championship and the 8 Hours of Suzuka.

  • Shunji Yatsushiro

    Shunji Yatsushiro

    Yatsushiro made his debut in road racing in 1981 and won the All Japan Road Race Championship in the brand-new TT-F1 Class. From 1886 Yasushiro joined Honda in the WGP (World Road Race Championship) with the NSR50 in the 500cc Class by replacing Freddie Spencer during the season after Freddie’s injury, followed by a full season in the Honda works team in 1987. From 1989 Yatsushiro returns to the Japanese racing scene with a double task; developing the NSR500 and racing in the All Japan Championship 500cc class. He wins the final race before retiring halfway into the season of 1990. Presently Shunji Yatsushiro continues to support racing as a motorsports commentator and journalist.

  • Takuma Aoki

    Takuma Aoki

    The middle brother of the three Aoki brothers. Takuma’s debut was in 1990, winning two consecutive championships in the Super Bike Class of the All Japan Road Race Championship in both 1995 and 1996. From 1997, Takuma joined the WGP with the Honda NSR500, however due to a serious spinal injury caused by an accident during pre-season tests in 1998, Takuma now uses a wheelchair. This event presented Takuma with the start of another amazing career. In 2005 Takuma joins the Kart Hand Drive Xross. From 2007 he moves to FIA Asia Cross Country Rally and wins the 2008 Championship. In 2009 Takuma joins the Dakar Rally and from 2012 he also races the Super Taikyu Endurance Series. In 2019, during the Suzuka 8 Hour endurance race and to the delight of all the fans, Takuma performed an emotional demo run on a unique motorbike that requires hands only handling.