Hiroshi Fushida


Record updated 10-Mar-07

Hiroshi made two attempts to qualify the Maki F101-2 for Grand Prix in 1975, failing in both Holland and Britain. Spend eleven years as TOMs British F3 team boss, drove at Le Mans three times and acted as operations director for Bentley's return to the French track.

Hiroshi Fushida
Hiroshi was born in Kyoto, Japan, son of the owner of the largest kimono manufacturer in the world. He was a works driver for Honda by the time he was 19 years old and Hiroshi has been involved with racing ever since. He was one of the first Japanese drivers to venture abroad to try his hand in International racing when in 1969 he competed in the American F5000/Formula A Championship at the wheel of Eagle 69. His results were not brilliant and he ended up racing back Japan late in the year.

Toyota introduced the five litre V8 powered Toyota 7 sports racer at the Fuji 1000km and in October. The Toyota 7 featured a 32 valve quad cam fuel injected 5 litre V8 giving around 600bhp. Unfortunately for Toyota, Nissan unveiled its 6 litre V12 for this race and the Toyotas finished in third, fourth and fifth behind two Nissan R382's. Hiroshi Fushida and Minoru Kawai drove first Toyota across the line in third place.

He was back in the USA again the following year but once again his results were dissapointing though he did finish third in the F5000/Formula A race at the Seattle International Raceway in a Zeus Eagle-Plymouth. Once drove a Trans-Am Camero through a barrier and into a tree, trapping Hiroshi in the car for over two hour and breaking bones, but leaving no lingering problems.

With a new confidence he continued to scored good results in sports prototypes and in Japanese Formula 2, taking the Japanese Sports Prototype Championship in 1972.

In 1973 he became the first Japanese driver at the Le Mans along with his team mate, Tetsu Ikuzawa, in the Mazda 12A powered Sigma MC73. Patrick Dal Bo also shared the driving. Unfortunately they went out after 79 laps when the clutch went.

In 1974 he was signed by Maki as a test triver for their F101-2 Formula One car and, in 1975, was appointed as their race driver. Maki had failed to qualify for any F1 race since they started in 1974 with Howden Ganley and that continued into 1975. In the Dutch Grand Prix he failed to qualfy and was 13 seconds off the pace of poleman Niki Lauda. He did slightly better in the British Grand Prix but still failed to make the grid. He was then dropped in favour of Tony Trimmer. Trimmer also failed to get the car on the grid.

In 1975 he raced at Bathurst in the Hardie-Ferodo 1000 driving a Mazda RX3 with Don Holland to a win in Class and 5th overall. He also raced at Le Mans again, this time with Sigma MC-75 Toyota. Driving with Harakuni Takahashi they went out after seven hours with a broken oil pump.

In 1981 he drove a Mazda RX-7 for Tom Walkinshaw Racing at Le Mans, sharing the driving with Yojiro Terada and Win Percy. Their race anly lasting 25 laps before transmission problems set in.

He then spend eleven years as TOMs British F3 team boss and drove at Le Mans on four occasions for Sygma and Mazda. He also looked after Toyota's Group C ambitions through the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He was appointed General Manager of Bentley's Racing Technology Norfolk in 1999 and later became Operations Director overseeing the building and development testing of the EXP Speed 8s.