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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 at the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix. Suzuki then became involved in team ownership, with interests firstly in the Japanese Formula Nippon Championship and the IRL in partnership with Mexican racer Adrian Fernandez. Most notably however, he was the owner of the Super Aguri F1 team, which participated in Formula One from 2006 to 2008. He then went on to form Team Aguri, which raced in Formula E from 2014 to 2016.

Aguri Suzuki
Aguri Suzuki 2008 Super GT.jpg
Suzuki in 2008, as the supervisor of ARTA.
Born (1960-09-08) 8 September 1960 (age 58)
Tokyo, Japan
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityJapan Japanese
Active years19881995
TeamsLarrousse, Zakspeed, Footwork, Jordan, Ligier
Entries88 (64 starts)
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums1
Career points8
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1988 Japanese Grand Prix
Last entry1995 Japanese Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Years1986–1988, 1990, 1996–1999
TeamsNissan Motorsport, Toyota Team Tom's, Nismo (Nismo/TWR)
Best finish3rd (1998)
Class wins0

Contents

CareerEdit

Early careerEdit

Suzuki began racing karts in 1972, at the age of 12. In 1978 he won the Japanese kart championship and in 1979 made his debut in the Japanese Formula Three (All-Japan F3) championship. He continued in karting and in 1981 was again Japanese Kart Champion. In 1983 he finished second in the All-Japan F3 series, driving a Hayashi-Toyota. He then turned to touring car racing and, driving for the Nissan factory team won the Japanese title in 1986. The same year he made his debut in Japanese F2 and drove in the Le Mans 24 Hours. In 1987 he finished runner-up in the Japanese F3000 series, winning one race (Suzuka). In 1988, driving a March-Yamaha he won the title with three wins (Fuji, Nishi-Nippon and Suzuka).

Formula One careerEdit

In 1988, Suzuki raced in European F3000 with Footwork, before he debuted in Formula One on October 30 at his home race, replacing the ill Yannick Dalmas in the Larrousse-Lola. Zakspeed, who were using Yamaha engines, hired Suzuki for 1989, when he gained the unenviable record of failing to pre-qualify in all 16 races (at that time there were 39 entrants fighting for 26 places on the grid, so 9 uncompetitive cars were removed on Friday morning).

 
Suzuki demonstrates his Larrousse-Lola 90 at Suzuka in 2012 - the scene of his podium finish 22 years earlier.

For 1990 and 1991, he drove again for Larrousse. Three sixth-places were dwarfed by 3rd place at Suzuka – the first ever podium for an Asian driver in F1 – which turned him into a local hero. He also set the second fastest lap, and observers began to think seriously about a Japanese contender in the series. The 1990 season would prove the pinnacle of Suzuki's racing career.

In 1992 and 1993, he was at Footwork alongside Michele Alboreto and then Derek Warwick, but both usually outperformed him. He shared a Ligier with Martin Brundle in 1995, but only scored one point in his races, and was criticised by Mika Salo after the two collided in Buenos Aires. Suzuka had been inextricably linked to Suzuki's F1 career and irony played its part in ensuring that was where it ended. A massive crash in practice caused a neck injury which saw him miss the race,[1] and he immediately announced his retirement.

In F1, Suzuki achieved one podium and scored a total of eight championship points. At the time he retired, he was the second most successful Japanese driver ever in F1 after Satoru Nakajima, but Takuma Sato and Kamui Kobayashi has since passed them both.

After Formula OneEdit

He later moved on to JGTC and remained involved in Japanese driver development. In 2000, with long term sponsor Autobacs, he would run the ARTA (Autobacs Racing Team Aguri) who despite winning the GT300 title in 2002, would expand to DTM a season later and launched Super Aguri Fernandez Racing with Adrian Fernandez, running cars in the IRL. Aguri still competes in both categories in Super GT, with team director/former driver Keiichi Tsuchiya managing the GT300 class, running the ASL Garaiya, a car his main sponsor helped to fund and develop. They race a Honda NSX-GT in the GT500 class, as well as a BMW M6 GT3 in the GT300 class.

From 2006 Suzuki ran the Super Aguri F1 Formula One team with the backing of Honda. He managed to put together his new team in just four and half months from his initial announcement on 1 November 2005.[2] The team overcame the hurdle of its initial entry being rejected by the FIA after not securing financial guarantees before the entry deadline, and their acceptance was not formally confirmed until 26 January 2006.[3] The team made its debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix on 12 March 2006. On 6 May 2008, after competing in the opening four races of the season, the team withdrew from Formula One due to financial problems.[4]

HelmetEdit

Suzuki's helmet is white with a red line with black sides surrounding the top, a red and black line going from the Rear down the chin (forming an A) and a black circle on the top.

Racing recordEdit

Japanese Top Formula Championship resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 DC Points
1985 ? SUZ FUJ MIN SUZ SUZ FUJ
DNS
SUZ
8
SUZ
10
16th 4
1986 Mooncraft SUZ FUJ MIN SUZ SUZ FUJ SUZ SUZ
6
13th 6
1987 Footwork Sports Racing Team SUZ
2
FUJ
2
MIN
4
SUZ
3
SUZ
2
SUG
Ret
FUJ
Ret
SUZ
1
SUZ
1
2nd 107
1988 Footwork Sports Racing Team SUZ
2
FUJ
1
MIN
1
SUZ
1
SUG
Ret
FUJ
2
SUZ
2
SUZ
Ret
1st 45

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans resultsEdit

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1986   Nissan Motorsports   Kazuyoshi Hoshino
  Keiji Matsumoto
Nissan R86V C1 64 DNF DNF
1987   Nissan Motorsports   Masahiro Hasemi
  Takao Wada
Nissan 87E C1 117 DNF DNF
1988   Nissan Motorsports   Kazuyoshi Hoshino
  Takao Wada
Nissan (March) R88C C1 286 DNF DNF
1990   Toyota Team TOM'S   Johnny Dumfries
  Roberto Ravaglia
Toyota 90C-V C1 64 DNF DNF
1996   NISMO   Masahiko Kageyama
  Masahiko Kondo
Nissan Skyline GT-R LM GT1 209 DNF DNF
1997   Nissan Motorsports
  TWR
  Riccardo Patrese
  Eric van de Poele
Nissan R390 GT1 GT1 121 DNF DNF
1998   Nissan Motorsports
  TWR
  Kazuyoshi Hoshino
  Masahiko Kageyama
Nissan R390 GT1 GT1 347 3rd 3rd
1999   Nissan Motorsports   Masami Kageyama
  Eric van de Poele
Nissan R391 LMP 0 DNS DNS

Complete International Formula 3000 resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap.)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 DC Points
1988 Footwork JER VAL PAU
11
SIL
DNQ
MNZ PER BRH
Ret
BIR BUG ZOL DIJ NC 0

Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Points
1988 Larrousse Calmels Lola LC88 Cosworth V8 BRA SMR MON MEX CAN DET FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN
16
AUS NC 0
1989 West Zakspeed Racing Zakspeed 891 Yamaha V8 BRA
DNPQ
SMR
DNPQ
MON
DNPQ
MEX
DNPQ
USA
DNPQ
CAN
DNPQ
FRA
DNPQ
GBR
DNPQ
GER
DNPQ
HUN
DNPQ
BEL
DNPQ
ITA
DNPQ
POR
DNPQ
ESP
DNPQ
JPN
DNPQ
AUS
DNPQ
NC 0
1990 Espo Larrousse F1 Lola LC89 Lamborghini V12 USA
Ret
BRA
Ret
12th 6
Lola LC90 SMR
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
12
MEX
Ret
FRA
7
GBR
6
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
POR
14
ESP
6
JPN
3
AUS
Ret
1991 Larrousse F1 Larrousse Lola LC91 Cosworth V8 USA
6
BRA
DNS
SMR
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
MEX
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
DNQ
ITA
DNQ
POR
Ret
ESP
DNQ
JPN
Ret
AUS
DNQ
22nd 1
1992 Footwork Mugen Honda Footwork FA13 Mugen Honda V10 RSA
8
MEX
DNQ
BRA
Ret
ESP
7
SMR
10
MON
11
CAN
DNQ
FRA
Ret
GBR
12
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
9
ITA
Ret
POR
10
JPN
8
AUS
8
NC 0
1993 Footwork Mugen Honda Footwork FA13B Mugen Honda V10 RSA
Ret
BRA
Ret
NC 0
Footwork FA14 EUR
Ret
SMR
9
ESP
10
MON
Ret
CAN
13
FRA
12
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
POR
Ret
JPN
Ret
AUS
7
1994 Sasol Jordan Jordan 194 Hart V10 BRA PAC
Ret
SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR EUR JPN AUS NC 0
1995 Ligier Gitanes Blondes Ligier JS41 Mugen Honda V10 BRA
8
ARG
Ret
SMR
11
ESP MON CAN FRA GBR GER
6
HUN BEL ITA POR EUR PAC
Ret
JPN
DNS
AUS 17th 1

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Tremayne, David. "Schumacher asserts his authority". The Independent, 30 October 1995. Retrieved on 30 June 2013.
  2. ^ BBC. "New team bidding for F1 status". 1 November 2005. Retrieved on 30 June 2013.
  3. ^ BBC. "Super Aguri handed F1 green light". 26 January 2006. Retrieved on 30 June 2013.
  4. ^ BBC. "Struggling Super Aguri out of F1". 6 May 2008. Retrieved on 30 June 2013.

External linksEdit