Keiichi Tsuchiya

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Keiichi Tsuchiya
Keiichi Tsuchiya 2008 Super GT.jpg
In 2008, as Executive Advisor of ARTA
Born January 30, 1956 (1956-01-30) (age 58)
Tōmi, Nagano, Japan
Nationality Japan Japanese
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 1994-2000
Teams Team Kunimitsu Honda, Team Lark McLaren, Toyota Team Europe, TV Asahi Team Dragon
Best finish 2nd (1999)
Class wins 2 (1995, 1999)

Keiichi Tsuchiya (土屋 圭市 Tsuchiya Keiichi?, born January 30, 1956, in Tōmi, Nagano (Tobu, Chiisagata-gun), Japan) is a professional race car driver. He is also known as the "Drift King" (or Dorikin (ドリキン)) for his nontraditional use of drifting in non-drifting racing events and his role in popularizing drifting as a motorsport. He is also known for touge (mountain pass) driving.

The car he drives, a Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno, has become one of the most popular sports cars; the car is also known as "Hachi-Roku" in Japan (hachi-roku meaning "eight six"); his car is also called "The Little Hachi that could." A video known as Pluspy documents Tsuchiya's touge driving with his AE86. He also is a consultant for one of the popular comic books and manga, "Initial D". "Takumi" is a character which describes him.

Biography[edit]

Tsuchiya started his career through the Fuji Freshman series in 1987. Unlike many drivers who came from wealthy families or motorsport backgrounds, he honed his skills from street racing and became an underground legend.

Racing career[edit]

National championships

He would continue to take part in the Japanese Formula Three Championship, Japanese Touring Car Championship (JTCC), the latter while driving a Nissan Skyline GT-R (previously in the Cosmo Oil Sierra Cosworth) in the Group A championships and later a Honda Civic in the Supertouring car championships.[1]

Le Mans

He went on to score a class win and an 8th place overall at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Honda NSX. In 1999 of the same race, this time in a Toyota GT-One, during the last hour while co-driver Ukyo Katayama was building up pace to the leading BMW V12 LMR he was forced into the grass by a backmarker privateer's BMW LMP, blowing the tire out. They survived the ordeal and went onto score the fastest lap but were forced to settle for second.

NASCAR

He has raced in NASCAR-sanctioned exhibition races at Suzuka Circuit (Suzuka Thunder 100) and at Twin Ring Motegi Superspeedway for the 1998 NASCAR-sanctioned exhibition and 1999 NASCAR Grand National Division, AutoZone West Series races at the circuit, both named the Coca-Cola 500K.

Drifting career[edit]

When Tsuchiya was a freshman in circuit racing, he got his racing license suspended because of the illegal racing he was still doing (cause of the Drift Pluspy video). In the movie series Shuto Kousoku Trial, he advised street racers to leave the illegal racing scene if they want to become involved with professional racing.

After his retirement[edit]

After his retirement, he remained in racing and is now an official Drift Muscle judge after quitting D1 in January 2011 and was Team Director for both GT500 for one year and GT300 Class of ARTA JGTC Team until the team disbanded their GT300 operation at the end of the 2005 season. He owned the aftermarket company Kei Office until he sold the business in 2005 to form DG-5. His trademark color is jade green which appears on his overalls and helmet and is the adopted color of the former company. It was also the colour of the D1 Grand Prix Kei Office S15 Silvia of driver and employee Yasuyuki Kazama who also wears a suit similar in pattern.

He also hosts the video magazine "Best Motoring" which features road tests of new Japanese cars including a special section called "Hot Version" which focuses on performance-modified cars. He is a guest presenter in Video Option, a monthly video magazine, similar to Hot Version except regularly covers the D1GP and its sister video magazine Drift Tengoku which deals purely with drifting.

He has been an editorial supervisor on the televised anime Initial D and Wangan Midnight. He appeared in episode 23 of Initial D First Stage as a special guest. He also appeared in the semi biographical film Shuto Kousoku Trial 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 was also featured in the Super GT magazine show in Japan. His life in driving is parallel to that of the Initial D main character, Takumi, as both of them started exploring their local touge while doing regular deliveries for their family businesses. In the Initial D 3rd Stage, the color can also be seen on the overalls and helmet of the sportsbike rider who overtook Takumi as he was en route to an initiation battle with Ryosuke Takahashi. The color of Tomo's racing suit from the Initial D 4th Stage is jade green and has a similar pattern to Tsuchiya's suit. He also made an appearance opposite Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson in a Motorworld in Japan special showing drifting competition in the late 1980s in Japan.

After 1995, he sometimes appeared as a Formula One guest commentator in Japanese Fuji TV.

In 2006, he made a cameo as a fisherman in the movie The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift in which he was also stunt coordinator and stunt man. Although he only had two lines, it is considered to be an inside joke to the drift racing community.

In 2014, he announced a joint venture with King of Europe ProSeries in order to create King of Asia ProSeries[2]

AE86 Specs[edit]

Car Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT-V AE86 Super Street Version
Year 1986
Body Color Super White II (Body) and TRD 3000GT Supra Gray (Engine Bay)
Underbody and Engine Tec-Art's Full Complete Engine Blacktop 20v 7A-GE (7A Bottom, 5-Valve 4AG Head), Tec-Art and Tomei Pon-Cam (264/264 IN/EX 9mm Lift), TEC ART Type R Dual-Type Radiator, TEC ART Oil Cooler with Fan, Impulse 5 Valve Sink Kit, Nismo and TRD Metal Con Rods, Carbon Fiber Clutch for TEC ART 7AG, K1 Planning and Fujitsubo Twin Tip Exhaust Type N1, AE111 Genuine Catalyser, TEC Art Modified 3.5th TRD Crossed 5 w/ 4.778 (5.125 for Touge), TRD Short-Shifter Kit, TRD 2-way LSD, Tec-Art Header, & MOTEC ECU (TEC-ART SETTING)
Custom Parts TRD FRP Hatch with integrated TRD N2 Spoiler (1-piece), GT-APEX Headlamp Adjuster, No Power Steering or Air Conditioning, GT-V/Power Steering knuckles, GT-APEX Tilt Steering column, GT-APEX Dash and Power Mirrors, GT-Apex Windshield Adjuster, TRD Leather-wrapped Shift Knob, Non-Amber Clear Front Signal Lights, Zenki Front Lip with Special Bumper Lip Bracket, TRD Reclining Sports Bucket Seats, Sabelt Harness, Defi Gauges, TRD Carbon Fiber Hood, Raybrig Multi Reflector Light Kit, Nardi TRD 3 Spoke Steering Wheel, Shitsua Gas Lid, Autobacs ARTA Karo Floor Mats, TEC-ART Suspension Kit, Revolver AE86 Traction Bracket, Front MZ20 Brakes, Tec-Arts Rear Brake Kit.
Tire and Rim Size Front and Rear 195/50R15 GoodYear RS Sport with Modex Dori Dori Mesh wheels(8.5j/off+3/15inches)

Career results[edit]

  • 1977 Debut in Fuji Freshman series.
  • 1977-1984 Ran selected entries in All Japan Touring Car championship.
  • 1984 Fuji Freshman series race (Toyota AE86)= 6 wins
  • 1985 All Japan Touring Car championship (Toyota AE86) 1st in Class 3
  • 1986 Corolla Sprinter Cup-2 podium places
  • 1987 All Japan Touring Car championship (Honda Civic) -1 win
  • 1988 Toyota Cup-1st overall
    • All Japan Touring Car championship (BMW E30) -3rd in Class 2
  • Macau Guia race (BMW M3) -4th overall
  • 1989 All Japan F3 championship
    • All Japan Touring Car championship (Ford Sierra Cosworth) -1 win
  • 1990 All Japan Touring Car championship (Ford Sierra Cosworth)
    • Macau Guia race (Ford Sierra Cosworth)
    • New Zealand Touring Car series (Toyota)
  • 1991 All Japan F3 championship (Ralt-Mugen)-10th overall
    • All Japan Touring Car championship (Nissan Skyline GT-R) -5th overall
  • 1992 All Japan Touring Car championship (Nissan Skyline GT-R)
  • 1993 All Japan Touring Car championship (Taisan Nissan Skyline GT-R) -1 win
    • Japan Endurance series (Honda Prelude) -2nd Tsukuba 12 Hours
  • 1994 All Japan GT championship (Porsche 911T) -1 win
    • All Japan Touring Car championship (Honda Civic)
    • Suzuka 1000 km (Porsche 911T) -1st in class, 2nd overall
    • Le Mans 24 Hours (Honda NSX) -18th overall
  • 1995 All Japan GT championship (Porsche911TRSR)
    • All Japan Touring Car championship (Honda Civic)
    • Suzuka 1000 km (Honda NSX) -5th overall
    • Tokachi 12 Hours (Honda NSX) -1st overall
    • Le Mans 24 Hours (Honda NSX) -1st in class
  • 1996 All Japan GT championship (Honda NSX) -13th overall
    • Entered NASCAR Thunder Special race at Suzuka
    • Le mans 24 Hours (Honda NSX) -3rd in class
  • 1997 All Japan GT championship (Porsche 911/Dodge Viper)
    • Fuji InterTec race (Toyota Chaser)
    • Suzuka 1000 km (Lark McLaren F1 GTR) -9th overall
    • Entered NASCAR Thunder Special race at Suzuka
    • Le Mans 24 Hours (Lark McLaren F1 GTR) -qualified 10th, retired from race
  • 1998 All Japan Touring Car championship (Toyota Chaser) -7th overall
    • All Japan GT championship (Toyota Supra) -8th overall
    • Le Mans 24 Hours (Toyota GT-One) -9th overall
    • NASCAR at the California Speedway.
  • 1999 Japan Touring Car Championship (Advan Altezza Touring car).
    • Le Mans 24 Hours (Toyota GT-One) -2nd overall
  • 2000 Le Mans 24 Hours (Panoz LMP-1 Roadster-S) -8th overall
  • 2000-2003 he joined team ARTA racing an NSX once again in the All Japan GT championship.
  • 2004-2005 studied in Australia to complete inter-2 course.

Racing record[edit]

Complete JGTC/Super GT results[edit]

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

Year Team Car Class Rd.1 Rd.2 Rd.3 Rd.4 Rd.5 Rd.6 Rd.7 Rd.8 Rd.9 DC Pts
1994 Team Kunimitsu Porsche 911 GT1 FUJ
SEN
FUJ
Ret
SUG
1
MIN
2
7th 35
1995 Team Kunimitsu Porsche 911 GT1 SUZ
14
FUJ
3
SEN
4
FUJ
8
SUG
8
MIN
Ret
10th 28
1996 Team Kunimitsu Honda NSX GT500 SUZ
Ret
FUJ
8
SEN
12
FUJ
7
SUG
10
MIN
11
17th 8
1997 TEAM TAISAN with ADVAN Dodge Viper GT500 SUZ
FUJ
SEN
10
FUJ
Ret
MIN
14
SUG
8
23rd 6
1998 TOYOTA TEAM SARD Toyota Supra GT500 SUZ
3
FUJ
C
SEN
4
FUJ
9
MOT
Ret
MIN
3
SUG
Ret
6th 36
1999 TOYOTA TEAM SARD Toyota Supra GT500 SUZ
16
FUJ
15
SUG
Ret
MIN
7
FUJ
10
TAI
13
MOT
Ret
22nd 5
2000 Autobacs Racing Team Aguri Honda NSX GT500 MOT
7
FUJ
Ret
SUG
15
FUJ
1
TAI
Ret
MIN
Ret
SUZ
Ret
13th 24
2001 Autobacs Racing Team Aguri Honda NSX GT500 TAI
2
FUJ
6
SUG
2
FUJ
12
MOT
11
SUZ
1
MIN
Ret
2nd 56
2002 Autobacs Racing Team Aguri Honda NSX GT500 TAI
7
FUJ
4
SUG
13
SEP
6
FUJ
9
MOT
8
MIN
8
SUZ
2
10th 46
2003 Autobacs Racing Team Aguri Honda NSX GT500 TAI
11
FUJ
Ret
SUG
11
FUJ
11
FUJ
12
MOT
8
AUT
Ret
SUZ
6
19th 9

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1998 Japan Toyota Motorsports
Germany Toyota Team Europe
Japan Ukyo Katayama
Japan Toshio Suzuki
Toyota GT-One GT1 326 9th 8th
1999 Japan Toyota Motorsports
Germany Toyota Team Europe
Japan Ukyo Katayama
Japan Toshio Suzuki
Toyota GT-One LMGTP 326 2nd 1st
2000 Japan TV Asahi Team Dragon Japan Ukyo Katayama
Japan Toshio Suzuki
Panoz LMP-1 Roadster-S LMP900 340 6th 6th

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://driftjapan.com/blog/drivers/keiichi-drift-king-tsuchiya/
  2. ^ http://www.k1planning.com/info/other/king-of-asia.html

External links[edit]