Japanese People Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan

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List of notable or famous racecar drivers from Japan, with bios and photos, including the top racecar drivers born in Japan and even some popular racecar drivers who immigrated to Japan. If you're trying to find out the names of famous Japanese racecar drivers then this list is the perfect resource for you. These racecar drivers are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known racecar driver from Japan is included when available.

Masahiko Kondō and Takuma Sato are included on this list.

This historic racecar drivers from Japan list can help answer the questions "Who are some Japanese racecar drivers of note?" and "Who are the most famous racecar drivers from Japan?" These prominent racecar drivers of Japan may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected Japanese racecar drivers.

Use this list of renowned Japanese racecar drivers to discover some new racecar drivers that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. (43 items)

1
Aguri Suzuki is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Aguri Suzuki age 57 Aguri Suzuki is a former racing driver from Japan. He participated in 88 Formula One Grands Prix, and his most notable achievement in racing was 3rd place at the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix. Suzuki ...more

2
Akira Iida is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Akira Iida age 49 Akira Iida is a Japanese racing driver in the Super GT series, since 2002 affiliated with Toyota and Lexus. First driving in the series since 1994, Iida has won five races altogether and took ...more

3
Hayanari Shimoda is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Hayanari Shimoda age 33 Hayanari Shimoda is a Japanese race car driver, born in Tokyo. His career started in 1997 in karting, Shimoda moving up to Italian Formula Renault in 2001. Happy to travel the world to further ...more

4
Hideki Mutoh is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Hideki Mutoh age 35 Hideki Mutoh is a Japanese race car driver from Tokyo currently racing in Super GT.

5
Hideki Noda is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Hideki Noda age 49 Hideki Noda is a professional racing driver from Japan. He participated in three Formula One Grands Prix, debuting in the 1994 European Grand Prix, but did not score any championship points. He ...more

6
Hideshi Matsuda is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Hideshi Matsuda age 63 Hideshi Matsuda, is a racecar driver and Japanese TV reporter. He has raced in several 24-hour races, including Daytona and LeMans. He also raced 4 times in the Indianapolis 500, in 1994-1996 ...more

7
Hiroshi Fushida is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Hiroshi Fushida age 72 Hiroshi Fushida is a former racing driver from Japan. He unsuccessfully entered two Formula One Grands Prix with Maki, the first in The Netherlands in 1975 where a blown engine prevented him ...more

8
Kamui Kobayashi is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
age 31 Kamui Kobayashi is a Japanese professional racing driver who recently competed in Formula One for Caterham. He also previously competed in the GP2 Series, the GP2 Asia Series, the FIA World ...more

9
Kazuki Nakajima is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Kazuki Nakajima age 33 Kazuki Nakajima is a professional racing driver who drove in Formula One for the Williams-Toyota team from 2007 to 2009. Prior to that he had been their test driver, as well as a competitor in ...more

10
Kazuyoshi Hoshino is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Kazuyoshi Hoshino age 70 Kazuyoshi Hoshino is a former racing driver and businessman from Japan.

11
Keiichi Tsuchiya is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Keiichi Tsuchiya age 62 Keiichi Tsuchiya is a professional race car driver. He is also known as the Drift King for his nontraditional use of drifting in non-drifting racing events and his role in popularizing drifting ...more

12
Keiko Ihara is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Keiko Ihara age 44 Keiko Ihara is a Japanese female race car driver. She was a former race queen, a model who appears in a swimsuit or other fashionable apparel at race circuits, before deciding to become a racing ...more

13
Ken Nomura is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Ken Nomura age 52 Ken Nomura is a drifting driver from Japan. He made his debut in the D1 Grand Prix in the 3rd round in 2001, driving the Blitz D1 Spec ER34 Skyline which he still drives. His nickname is Nomuken ...more

14
Kohei Hirate is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Kohei Hirate age 32 Kohei Hirate is a Japanese race car driver.

15
Kosuke Matsuura is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Kosuke Matsuura age 38 Kosuke Matsuura is a race car driver currently competing in the Super GT series. He previously competed in the Formula Nippon and IRL IndyCar Series.

16
Kunimitsu Takahashi is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Kunimitsu Takahashi age 78 Kunimitsu Takahashi is a former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and racing driver from Japan who is also considered as the "father of drifting". He was the chairman of the ...more

17
Manabu Orido is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Manabu Orido age 50 Manabu "MAX" Orido is a Japanese racing driver who currently competes in the Super GT series for Toyota Team Tsuchiya in a Lexus SC 430 sponsored by Eclipse and Advan Orido began his ...more

18
Masahiko Kondō is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
age 53 Masahiko Kondō or Matchy is a Japanese singer, lyricist and actor represented by Johnny & Associates. Kondō is also a semi-professional racing driver and a racing team owner. He founded the ...more

19
Masahiro Hasemi is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Masahiro Hasemi age 72 Masahiro Hasemi is a former racing driver and team owner from Japan. He started racing motocross when he was 15 years old. In 1964 he signed to drive for Nissan. After establishing himself in ...more

20
Masami Kuwashima is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Masami Kuwashima age 67 Masami Kuwashima is a former racing driver from Japan. After some experience in the Japanese lower formulae, he made an attempt at Formula One. A deal to drive in the 1976 Japanese Grand Prix ...more

21
Masanori Sekiya is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Masanori Sekiya age 69 Masanori Sekiya, born 27 November 1949 is a racing car driver, most famous for being the first Japanese driver to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in 1995. Sekiya drove in single-seaters in his ...more

22
Naoki Hattori is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Naoki Hattori age 51 Naoki Hattori is a motoring journalist and racing driver from Japan. After he won the Japanese Formula 3 championship in 1990, he failed to pre-qualify for two Formula One grands prix with ...more

23
Nobuteru Taniguchi is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Nobuteru Taniguchi age 46 Nobuteru Taniguchi is a Japanese racing driver and drifting driver who currently competes in Super GT and D1 Grand Prix. Taniguchi is commonly nicknamed "NOB" or "The Pimp" ...more

24
Noritake Takahara is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Noritake Takahara age 66 Noritake Takahara is a former racing driver from Japan. He participated in 2 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on October 24, 1976. He scored no championship points. Takahara ...more

25
Ren Nagabuchi is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Ren Nagabuchi age 24 Ren Nagabuchi is a racecar driver.

26
Ryuichi Kawamura is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
age 47 Ryuichi Kawamura is a Japanese singer-songwriter, actor and record producer. He is best known as lead singer of the rock band Luna Sea. After the group disbanded in 2000, Kawamura continued his ...more

27
Sakon Yamamoto is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Sakon Yamamoto age 35 Sakon Yamamoto is a Japanese racing driver. He competed in 21 Formula One Grands Prix during the 2006, 2007 and 2010 seasons.

28
Satoru Nakajima is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Satoru Nakajima age 65 Satoru Nakajima is a former racing driver from Japan. Nakajima, who was known as one of the nicest and most personable drivers in Formula One in a sport where large egos are normal, was ...more

29
Satoshi Motoyama is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Satoshi Motoyama age 47 Satoshi Motoyama is a Japanese professional racing driver.

30
Seiji Ara is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Seiji Ara age 43 Seiji Ara is a race car driver. He was the winner of the 24-hour Le Mans race in 2004, driving an Audi R8. In the same year he also raced in the Le Mans Endurance Series and Japanese GT ...more

31
Shigeaki Hattori is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Shigeaki Hattori age 54 Shigeaki Hattori is a Japanese race car driver and team owner currently based in the United States. He is not related to Naoki Hattori, whom he briefly raced against in CART. He owns Hattori ...more

32
Shingo Tachi is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Shingo Tachi Dec. at 22 (1977-1999) Shingo Tachi was a Japanese racing driver, the son of Nobuhide Tachi, founder and head of TOM's, the motorsport side of Toyota. Tachi raced in British Formula Vauxhall with Rowan Racing in 1994 ...more

33
Shinji Nakano is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Shinji Nakano age 47 Shinji Nakano is a professional racing driver from Japan. His father, Tsuneharu, was also a racing driver. He competed in the All-Japan Formula Three Championship.

34
Taki Inoue is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Taki Inoue age 54 Takachiho "Taki" Inoue is a retired motor racing driver from Japan.

35
Takuma Sato is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
age 41 Takuma Sato is a Japanese professional racing driver. He is racing for A. J. Foyt Enterprises in the 2014 IndyCar Series season.

36
Takuya Kurosawa is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Takuya Kurosawa age 55 Takuya Kurosawa is a Japanese race car driver. He raced in All-Japan Formula Three from 1988 to 1989, Japanese Formula 3000 from 1990 to 1995 and the JGTC series from 1994 to 1999, also driving ...more

37
Tetsuya Ota is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Tetsuya Ota age 58 Tetsuya Ota is a racecar driver from Maebashi in the Gunma Prefecture, Japan. He is notable for surviving a fiery multi-car pileup he was involved in during a JGTC race at Fuji Speedway on May ...more

38
Toranosuke Takagi is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Toranosuke Takagi age 44 Toranosuke Takagi, known simply as Tora Takagi is a Japanese former race car driver.

39
Toshio Suzuki is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Toshio Suzuki age 63 Toshio Suzuki is a former racing driver from Saitama Prefecture, Japan.

40
Ukyo Katayama is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Ukyo Katayama age 54 Ukyo Katayama is a Japanese former racing driver, most notable for competing six years in Formula One. He participated in 97 Grands Prix, debuting on 1 March 1992. He scored a total of five ...more

41
Yojiro Terada is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Yojiro Terada age 71 Yojiro Terada is a Japanese racing driver from Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture. He is known for holding the record for the most participations in the 24 Hours of Le Mans without winning, having run on 29 ...more

42
Yuji Ide is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Yuji Ide age 43 Yuji Ide is a Japanese professional racing driver who graduated from 2005 Formula Nippon to Formula One with the Super Aguri team in 2006, but lost his FIA Super Licence during the season due to ...more

43
Yuri Mitsui is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan
Yuri Mitsui age 46 Yuri Mitsui, is a Japanese actress and model. She is also a race car driver. She was born in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.