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Famous Racecar Drivers from Japan

Updated June 14, 2019 9.1k views43 items

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. {#nodes}
  • 1

    Aguri Suzuki

    Age: 60

    BirthplaceTokyo, Japan


    Aguri Suzuki (鈴木 亜久里, Suzuki Aguri, born 8 September 1960) is a Japanese former racing driver. He participated in 88 Formula One Grands Prix, and his most notable achievement in racing was 3rd place...  more
  • 2

    Akira Iida

    Age: 51



    Akira Iida (Shinjitai: 飯田 章, Iida Akira, born 18 December 1969 in Sagamihara, Kanagawa) is a Japanese racing driver currently competing in the Super GT series in GT300 class with LM corsa, one of the...  more
  • 3

    Hayanari Shimoda

    Age: 36

    BirthplaceTokyo, Japan


    Hayanari Shimoda (下田隼成; Shimoda Hayanari) (born July 16, 1984) is a Japanese race car driver, born in Tokyo.His career started in 1997 in karting, Shimoda moving up to Italian Formula Renault in...  more
  • 4

    Hideki Mutoh

    Age: 37

    BirthplaceTokyo, Japan


    Hideki Mutoh (武藤 英紀, Mutō Hideki, born October 6, 1982) is a Japanese race car driver from Tokyo currently racing in Super GT....  more
  • 5

    Hideki Noda

    Age: 51

    BirthplaceOsaka, Japan


    Hideki Noda (野田 英樹, Noda Hideki, born 7 March 1969) 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...  more
  • 6

    Hideshi Matsuda

    Age: 65

    BirthplaceKōchi Prefecture, Japan


    Hideshi Matsuda (松田 秀士, born 22 December 1954) is a Japanese car racer and TV reporter. He has raced in several 24-hour races, including Daytona and LeMans. He also raced 4 times in the...  more
  • 7

    Hiroshi Fushida

    Age: 74

    BirthplaceKyoto, Keihanshin, Japan


    Hiroshi Fushida (鮒子田 寛, , born 10 March 1946 in Kyoto) is a former racing driver from Japan. He unsuccessfully entered two Formula One Grands Prix with Maki, the first in The Netherlands in 1975...  more
  • 8

    BirthplaceAmagasaki, Japan


    Kamui Kobayashi (小林 可夢偉, Kobayashi Kamui, born 13 September 1986) is a Japanese professional racing driver who currently competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship for Toyota Gazoo Racing, and...  more
  • 9

    Kazuki Nakajima

    Age: 35

    BirthplaceOkazaki, Japan


    Kazuki Nakajima (中嶋 一貴, Nakajima Kazuki, born January 11, 1985) is a professional racing driver who drove in Formula One for the Williams-Toyota team from 2007 to 2009. Racing for Toyota Gazoo Racing...  more
  • 10

    Kazuyoshi Hoshino

    Age: 73

    BirthplaceShizuoka, Japan


    Kazuyoshi Hoshino (Shinjitai: 星野 一義, Hoshino Kazuyoshi, born in Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture, 1 July 1947) is a Japanese former racing driver and businessman....  more
  • 11

    Keiichi Tsuchiya

    Age: 64

    BirthplaceTōbu, Nagano


    Keiichi Tsuchiya (土屋圭市, Tsuchiya Keiichi, born January 30, 1956) is a professional race car driver. He is known as the Drift King (ドリキン, Dorikin) for his nontraditional use of drifting in...  more
  • 12

    Keiko Ihara

    Age: 47

    BirthplaceTokyo, Japan


    Keiko Ihara (井原 慶子, Ihara Keiko) (born July 4, 1973) is a Japanese race car driver. She was a former race queen, a model who appears in a swimsuit or other fashionable apparel at race circuits,...  more
  • 13

    Ken Nomura

    Age: 55

    BirthplaceFukuoka, Japan


    Ken Nomura (Shinjitai: 野村謙, Nomura Ken, born Fukuoka, May 9, 1965) 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...  more
  • 14

    Kohei Hirate

    Age: 34

    BirthplaceKomaki, Japan


    Kohei Hirate (平手晃平, Hirate Kohei, born 24 March 1986 in Komaki, Aichi) is a Japanese race car driver....  more
  • 15

    Kosuke Matsuura

    Age: 41

    BirthplaceAichi Prefecture, Japan


    Kosuke Matsuura (松浦 孝亮, Matsūra Kōsuke, born September 4, 1979 in Aichi, Japan) is a race car driver currently competing in the Super GT series. He previously competed in the Formula Nippon and IRL...  more
  • 16

    Kunimitsu Takahashi

    Age: 80

    BirthplaceKoganei, Japan


    Kunimitsu Takahashi (Shinjitai: 高橋 国光, Takahashi Kunimitsu, born Tokyo, January 29, 1940) is a Japanese former professional Grand Prix motorcycle road racer, racing driver, and current team manager....  more
  • 17

    Manabu Orido

    Age: 52


    Manabu "MAX" Orido (Shinjitai: 織戸 学, Orido Manabu, born Funabashi, Chiba, 3 December 1968; alternative nickname Monkichi) is a Japanese racing driver who currently competes in the Super GT series for...  more
  • 18

    BirthplaceYokohama, Japan


    Masahiko Kondō (近藤 真彦, Kondō Masahiko, born July 19, 1964 in Yokohama, Japan) or Matchy is a Japanese singer, lyricist, actor, racing car manager and former semi-professional racing driver...  more
  • 19

    Masahiro Hasemi

    Age: 74

    BirthplaceOme, Japan


    Masahiro Hasemi (Shinjitai: 長谷見 昌弘, Hasemi Masahiro, born 13 November 1945 in Tokyo) is a former racing driver and team owner from Japan. He started racing motocross when he was 15 years old. In 1964...  more
  • 20

    Masami Kuwashima

    Age: 70

    BirthplaceKumagaya, Japan


    Masami Kuwashima (桑島 正美, born 14 September 1950) 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...  more
  • 21

    Masanori Sekiya

    Age: 71


    Masanori Sekiya (関谷 正徳, Sekiya Masanori, 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...  more
  • 22

    Naoki Hattori

    Age: 54



    Naoki Hattori (服部 尚貴, born June 13, 1966 in Tokyo) 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...  more
  • 23

    Nobuteru Taniguchi

    Age: 49

    BirthplaceHiroshima, Japan


    Nobuteru Taniguchi (谷口 信輝, Taniguchi Nobuteru, born May 18, 1971, Hiroshima) is a Japanese racing driver and drifting driver who currently competes in Super GT and D1 Grand Prix. Taniguchi is...  more
  • 24

    Noritake Takahara

    Age: 69

    BirthplaceTokyo, Japan


    Noritake Takahara (高原 敬武, born June 6, 1951 in Tokyo) is a former racing driver from Japan. He participated in 2 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on October 24, 1976. He scored...  more
  • 25

    Ren Nagabuchi

    Age: 26

    BirthplaceSetagaya, Japan


    Ren Nagabuchi is a racecar driver....