Open main menu

Toranosuke Takagi, known simply as Tora Takagi (高木 虎之介; born 12 February 1974) is a Japanese former racing driver.

Toranosuke Takagi
Toranosuke Takagi 2008 Super GT.jpg
In 2008, as a Super GT driver
Born (1974-02-12) 12 February 1974 (age 45)
Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityJapan Japanese
Active years19981999
TeamsTyrrell, Arrows
Entries32
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums0
Career points0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1998 Australian Grand Prix
Last entry1999 Japanese Grand Prix

Contents

Early careerEdit

Takagi was heavily influenced by his father, a touring car driver. In the early 1980s he began racing karts, competing in his first championship kart race in 1987. After winning several All Japan National Kart A2 series races, Takagi ended his kart racing career in 1991 and began racing Formula Toyota in 1992. In 1993, he began competing in All Japan Formula Three, finishing 10th in his rookie season.

Formula OneEdit

 
Takagi driving for Tyrrell at the 1998 Spanish Grand Prix.

During his performance in a 1994 race he drew the attention of Japanese Formula One driver Satoru Nakajima, joining the Nakajima Racing team and competing in Formula 3000. He was heavily involved in the team from 1995 until he was chosen as Tyrrell's Formula One test driver in 1997. He graduated to a race seat for 1998. Takagi later competed with the Arrows Formula One team, and his European popularity was on the rise. However, there were organizational and communication problems between Takagi and both teams, and he left Formula One at the end of the 1999 season.

Post–Formula One careerEdit

In 2000, Takagi joined Nakajima Racing's Formula Nippon team, earning eight victories in ten races, the most dominant performance ever by a driver in the series. He later competed in CART (Champ Car) for the Walker Racing team in 2001 and 2002 finishing in a career-best 4th place in Houston, Texas. He transferred to Indy Racing League and joined Mo Nunn Racing, finishing 10th in 2003. In the same year, he competed in the Indianapolis 500, starting in 7th place and finishing in 5th, earning him the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year award.

After another, largely disappointing season in the IndyCar Series, Takagi returned to Japan in 2005 to compete in Formula Nippon once again, taking part ownership of the Cerumo team and running one of their cars in his own name (Takagi Planning with CERUMO). Takagi also was one of the co-drivers of the #38 Toyota Supra Super GT car, claiming the series title along with Yuji Tachikawa. Takagi's title made him the first Super GT rookie to become champion in the GT500 class since John Nielsen and David Brabham in 1996, as well as the last until Jenson Button in 2018.

Career timelineEdit

  • 1987 – Finished 8th in Japanese A2 National Kart Series championship.
  • 1988 – Finished 4th in Japanese A2 National Kart Series championship.
  • 1989 – Won the Japanese A2 National Kart Series championship.
  • 1990 – Won the Japanese A2 National Kart Series championship.
  • 1991 – Finished 2nd in Japanese FA National Kart Series championship.
  • 1992 – Won two races in Formula Toyota.
  • 1993 – Finished 10th in his rookie season in Japanese Formula 3 championship.
  • 1994 – Finished 6th in Japanese Formula 3 championship. Spot participation in Japanese Formula 3000 championship from Nakajima Planning, scoring three top-10 finishes.
  • 1995 – Finished 2nd in Japanese Formula 3000 championship with Nakajima Planning, scoring three victories.
  • 1996 – Finished 4th in Japanese Formula Nippon championship(ex Japanese F3000)with Nakajima Planning, scoring two victories.
  • 1997 – Served as test driver for Tyrrell Formula One team. Takagi scored one victory en route to finishing 6th in Japanese Formula Nippon championship with Nakajima Planning.
  • 1998 – Drove in Formula One in rookie year driving for Tyrrell. He finished in the top-10 twice, including ninth at Silverstone and Monza.
  • 1999 – Competed in Formula One with Arrows, scoring two top-10 finishes, including a career-best seventh at Melbourne (Australian Grand Prix).
  • 2000 – Won eight of 10 races en route to winning the Japanese Formula Nippon series title with Nakajima Planning .
  • 2001 – Finished 21st in CART point standings in rookie year driving for Walker Racing.He finished in the top-10 three times, including a career-best fourth at Houston.
  • 2002 – Finished 15th in CART point standings with Walker Racing. He finished in the top-10 seven times, including tying career-best finish with a fourth place at Chicago.
  • 2003 – Finished 10th in Indy Racing League point standings in rookie year driving for Mo Nunn Racing. He scored nine top-10 finishes, including a season-best third in June at Texas. He started seventh and finished fifth in first Indianapolis 500, the highest-finishing rookie. He won the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year award.
  • 2004 – Competed in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series with Mo Nunn Racing.
  • 2005 – Competed in Formula Nippon as owner-driver of Takagi Planning with CERUMO.

Career resultsEdit

Complete Japanese Formula 3000/Formula Nippon 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 DC Points
1994 Nakajima Racing SUZ FUJ MIN SUZ SUG FUJ SUZ
7
FUJ
8
FUJ SUZ
9
NC 0
1995 Nakajima Racing SUZ
7
FUJ
C
MIN
5
SUZ
Ret
SUG
1
FUJ
12
TOK
1
FUJ
1
SUZ
Ret
2nd 29
1996 PIAA Nakajima Racing SUZ
Ret
MIN
3
FUJ
Ret
TOK
Ret
SUZ
1
SUG
1
FUJ
Ret
MIN
Ret
SUZ
6
FUJ
Ret
4th 25
1997 PIAA Nakajima Racing SUZ
Ret
MIN
DNS
FUJ
3
SUZ
1
SUG
Ret
FUJ
Ret
MIN
5
MOT
Ret
FUJ
Ret
SUZ
5
6th 18
2000 PIAA Nakajima Racing SUZ
1
MOT
1
MIN
Ret
FUJ
1
SUZ
1
SUG
1
MOT
1
FUJ
1
MIN
1
SUZ
2
1st 86
2005 Team Cerumo MOT
9
SUZ
Ret
SUG
11
FUJ
9
SUZ
10
MIN
9
FUJ
8
MOT
Ret
SUZ
12
15th 0
2006 Team LeMans FUJ
22
SUZ
16
MOT
11
SUZ
8
AUT
16
FUJ
8
SUG
Ret
MOT
Ret
SUZ
Ret
18th 0
2007 Forum Engineering
Team LeMans
FUJ
Ret
SUZ
12
MOT
9
OKA
16
SUZ
8
FUJ
9
SUG
10
MOT
12
SUZ
8
16th 3

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 WDC Points
1998 PIAA Tyrrell Ford Tyrrell 026 Ford V10 AUS
Ret
BRA
Ret
ARG
12
SMR
Ret
ESP
13
MON
11
CAN
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
9
AUT
Ret
GER
13
HUN
14
BEL
Ret
ITA
9
LUX
16
JPN
Ret
NC 0
1999 Repsol Arrows F1 Team Arrows A20 Arrows V10 AUS
7
BRA
8
SMR
Ret
MON
Ret
ESP
12
CAN
Ret
FRA
DSQ
GBR
16
AUT
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
EUR
Ret
MAL
Ret
JPN
Ret
NC 0

Complete American Open Wheel racing resultsEdit

(key)

CARTEdit

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Rank Points
2001 Walker Racing Reynard 01i Toyota RV8F V8t MTY
10
LBH
Ret
TXS
NH
NZR
14
MOT
Ret
MIL
DSQ
DET
Ret
POR
18
CLE
14
TOR
Ret
MIS
13
CHI
11
MDO
Ret
ROA
Ret
VAN
7
LSZ
6
ROC
Ret
HOU
4
LS
13
SRF
16
FON
15
21st 29
2002 Walker Racing Reynard 02i Toyota RV8F V8t MTY
14
LBH
6
MOT
8
MIL
14
LS
16
POR
18
CHI
4
TOR
8
CLE
7
VAN
15
MDO
12
ROA
15
MTL
14
DEN
15
ROC
6
MIA
15
SRF
18
FON
18
MXC
6
15th 53

IndyCar SeriesEdit

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Rank Points
2003 Mo Nunn Racing G-Force GF09 Toyota Indy V8 HMS
12
PHX
22
MOT
8
INDY
5
TXS
3
PPIR
6
RIR
13
KAN
18
NSH
7
MIS
6
NZR
14
CHI
9
FON
18
TX2
7
10th 317
Dallara IR-03 STL
7
KTY
18
2004 Mo Nunn Racing Dallara IR-04 Toyota Indy V8 HMS
4
PHX
8
MOT
10
INDY
19
TXS
10
RIR
19
KAN
21
NSH
11
MIL
20
MIS
20
KTY
20
PPIR
19
NZR
17
CHI
13
FON
14
TX2
12
15th 263

Indianapolis 500Edit

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
2003 G-Force Toyota 7 5 Mo Nunn Racing
2004 Dallara Toyota 26 19 Mo Nunn Racing

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tom Coronel
Formula Nippon
Champion

2000
Succeeded by
Satoshi Motoyama
Preceded by
Satoshi Motoyama
Richard Lyons
Super GT (GT500) Champion
2005 with:
Yuji Tachikawa
Succeeded by
Juichi Wakisaka
André Lotterer
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Alex Barron
Tomas Scheckter
Indianapolis 500
Rookie of the Year

2003
Succeeded by
Kosuke Matsuura