||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification, as it includes attribution to IMDb. (October 2009)|
In 2008, as Executive Advisor of ARTA
|24 Hours of Le Mans career|
|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, 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, "Initial D". "Takumi" is a character which describes him.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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
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 company he used to own, Kei Office. 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 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.
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.
|Car||TRD Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT-V AE86 Super Street Version|
|Body Color||Super White II (Body) and TRD 3000GT Supra Gray (Engine Bay)|
|Underbody and Engine||Tec-Art's Full Complete Engine BlackTop 20v 4A-GELU Tomei Kit (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, TecArt Twin Tip Exhaust Type 1, AE111 Genuine Catalyser, TRD Crossed 3 Mission with 4.778 Final Gear, 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 Guages, 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 Work Meister CR01(8.5j/off+3/15inches)|
- "I drift not because it is a quicker way around a corner but the most exciting way."
- "Speed isn't everything; you gotta look cool on the touge too."
- "This is fun! I wish that Toyota could make cars like this again!" (on the Toyota AE86)
- "Yeah! How come this car gets me fired up all the time?" After winning a downhill touge against a Skyline R34 with the Toyota AE86
- "カウンターステアが遅いんだな？ (Countersteer is late, huh?)" (from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, dubbed as "You call that drifting?")
- "Men with guts attack those corners!" - it was a reply to Nobuteru Taniguchi who, driving a more powerful car on the touge, said " I'll get away with turbo power on the straights."
- "The most important thing is balance." (Tsuchiya says this word in every race action.)
- "There's tension on the track; now you see how hard it is. You may be fastest on the street but, unless you know the track, you're not good enough to sit behind the wheel." (Tsuchiya speaking to Shikiba, subtitled portion, Shuto Kusokou Trial MAX)
- "I'm afraid that if I raced you on the street I'd push you to your death." (Tsuchiya speaks to Takahiro Yamanaka, subtitled portion, Shuto Kusokou Trial 2)
- "What is power without control?"
- "It's so fast it will make a dead man scream" (Tsuchiya describing the performance of the Mines R34 Skyline)
- "The important thing is to keep trying"
- "悪くない (Not Bad)" (from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift)
- 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.
- "Touge Showdown 2 - AE86 vs Skyline GT-R - Hot Version International" on YouTube
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Keiichi Tsuchiya.|
- (Japanese) Official site
- IMDb profile
- AsianAthlete.com profile
- (Japanese) Bridgestone Automobile Radio
- Best Motoring International
- Drift Japan » Keiichi 'Drift King' Tsuchiya - Driver Profile and Overview
- 2012 Tsuchiya AE86 Specs by TEC ART
- 2002/2003 TRD Tsuchiya AE86 Specs