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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. He is considered as the "father of drifting". He was the chairman of the GT-Association, the organizers of the Super GT series, from 1993 to 2007.

Kunimitsu Takahashi
Jim Redman, Luigi Taveri, Kunimitsi Takahashi (1963).jpg
Jim Redman, Luigi Taveri and Kunimitsu Takahashi (1963)
NationalityJapanese
Born (1940-01-29) 29 January 1940 (age 79)
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years1960 - 1964
First race1960 250cc German Grand Prix
Last race1964 125cc French Grand Prix
First win1961 250cc German Grand Prix
Last win1962 125cc Spanish Grand Prix
Team(s)Honda
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
129 4 15 N/A 3 107
Formula One World Championship career
Active years1977
Teamsnon-works Tyrrell
Entries1
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums0
Career points0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1977 Japanese Grand Prix
Last entry1977 Japanese Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Years1986-1990, 1994-1996
TeamsTeam Kunimitsu Honda, Kremer Racing
Best finish8th (1995)
Class wins1 (1995)

Contents

Motorcycle racingEdit

In 1961, Takahashi became the first Japanese rider to win a motorcycle Grand Prix riding a 250cc Honda to victory at Hockenheim. His best finishes were a fourth place in the 1961 250 world championship and a fourth place in the 1962 125 world championship, both times on a Honda.[1] He was seriously injured in the 1962 Isle of Man TT and switched to car racing in 1965. He won four Grands Prix in his motorcycle racing career.

Car racingEdit

He participated in one Formula One race, the 1977 Japanese Grand Prix on October 23, 1977, driving a non-works Tyrrell. This was in fact the same car that Kazuyoshi Hoshino used in the 1976 Japanese Grand Prix. Takahashi finished 9th in his single Grand Prix outing, thus he scored no championship points. From 1987 to 1992, he competed in the Japanese Formula 3000 championship. He also competed in eight 24 Hours of Le Mans races between 1986 and 1996. In the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, his team competed with a Honda NSX, winning the GT2 Class and finishing eighth overall.

In 1994, he formed Team Kunimitsu to compete in the inaugural JGTC season, running a Porsche 911 RSR Turbo in the GT1 class alongside Keiichi Tsuchiya. In 1996, with the advent of the GT500 class, Team Kunimitsu switched manufacturers from Porsche to Honda. The next year, Team Kunimitsu cars would adorn the Raybrig colors for the first time. Takahashi would drive for his own team until 1999, where he retired at the end of the season to focus on team management role. Team Kunimitsu is currently the defending champions of Super GT, with the team winning its first championship in 2018 with Naoki Yamamoto and 2009 Formula One champion Jenson Button behind the wheel of the #100 Raybrig Honda.[2]

Career motorsports resultsEdit

Motorcycle Grand Prix resultsEdit

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6
Points 8 6 4 3 2 1

(key) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Points Rank Wins
1960 125cc Honda IOM NED BEL ULS
6
NAT 1 10th 0
250cc Honda IOM NED BEL GER
6
ULS
5
NAT
4
6 7th 0
1961 125cc Honda ESP GER
6
FRA
6
IOM NED BEL DDR
3
ULS
1
NAT SWE
2
ARG
3
24 5th 1
250cc Honda ESP GER
1
FRA
3
IOM
4
NED BEL DDR
3
ULS
6
NAT SWE
3
ARG
2
29 4th 1
1962 50cc Honda ESP
6
FRA
2
IOM NED BEL GER DDR NAT FIN ARG 7 9th 0
125cc Honda ESP
1
FRA
1
IOM
NC
NED BEL GER ULS DDR NAT FIN ARG 16 4th 2
1963 50cc Honda ESP GER FRA IOM NED BEL FIN ARG JPN
11
0 - 0
125cc Honda ESP
3
GER
5
FRA
3
IOM
8
NED
5
BEL ULS
5
DDR FIN NAT
3
ARG JPN 14 7th 0
250cc Honda ESP
4
GER
NC
IOM
NC
NED BEL
6
ULS
4
DDR NAT ARG JPN 7 9th 0
1964 50cc Honda USA ESP
NC
FRA IOM NED BEL GER FIN JPN 0 - 0
125cc Honda USA ESP FRA
4
IOM NED GER DDR ULS FIN NAT JPN 3 14th 0

Complete Formula One results[3]Edit

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Points
1977 Meiritsu Racing Team Tyrrell 007 Cosworth V8 ARG BRA RSA USW ESP MON BEL SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN JPN
9
NC 0

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kunimitsu Takahashi career statistics at MotoGP.com
  2. ^ "Motegi Super GT: Jenson Button holds off late threat for title". Autosport.com. Autosport. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  3. ^ Kunimitsu Takahashi Formula One statistics at formula1.com

External linksEdit