Two little-known former F1 pilots from Japan – Hiroshi Fushida and Toshio Suzuki – are celebrating their respective birthdays today!
Born in Kyoto and turning 66 today, Fushida entered two Grands Prix with the Japanese Maki outfit during the 1975 Formula 1 season.
After qualifying for the first at Zandvoort, he failed to take the start after blowing his engine on race-day warm-up. At the second race at Silverstone, he was slowest of all who entered and failed to qualify for the race.
And like his fellow birthday compatriot, Toshio Suzuki (who turns 57 today) also contested two Formula 1 Grands Prix, although he managed a little better by actually qualifying for and starting both.
His Grand Prix debut came at the venerable age of 38 when, in 1993, he stumped up enough cash to realise his dream of securing a two-race deal as Philippe Alliot’s replacement with the beleaguered Larrousse F1 outfit.
Not only did Toshio start both races at Suzuka and Adelaide, he also finished them, and to compete at the highest level was a source of great pride for this very popular racing driver, who was the Japanese F3 champion as far back as 1979.
A winner of the Daytona 24 Hours in 1992, Suzuki also contested the Le Mans 24 Hours as well as a host of national championships, including Japanese F3000 and the national touring car championships.
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