Takagi Tora Takagi, 1999 San Marino Grand Prix Takagi

Full Name: Toranosuke ‘Tora’ Takagi
Nationality: Japanese
Born: 12 February 1974, Shizuoka (JPN)

First GP: 1998 Australian Grand Prix
Last GP: 1999 Japanese Grand Prix

Entries: 32 Grands Prix: 32 Non-starts: 0
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 7th Best Grid: 13th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 0 Retirements: 19

1988-9 Japanese A2 National Kart Series Championship, 1st overall
1995 Japanese Formula 3000, Nakajima Planning, 3 wins, 2nd overall
1998 Formula 1, Tyrrell Ford V10 026, 16 races, 0 points, Not Classified
1999 Formula 1, Repsol Arrows V10 A20, 16 races, 0 points, Not Classified
2000 Formula Nippon, Nakajima Planning, 8 wins, 1st overall
2001 CART World Series, Walker Racing, 21 races, 21st overall
2002 CART World Series, Walker Racing, 19 races, 15th overall
2003 IndyCar Series, Mo Nunn Racing, 16 races, 1 podium, 10th overall
2004 IndyCar Series, Mo Nunn Racing, 16 races, 15th overall
2005 Japanese Super GT (GT500) Championship, 1st overall with Yuji Tachikawa
Year Championship, Team, Races, Wins, Podiums, Poles, Points, Rank

Toranosuke Takagi

Toranosuke Takagi – better known as ‘Tora’ (‘Tiger’, when translated) – was widely considered to be one of the best Japanese drivers of his era to try his hand at Formula 1. But alas…

After a rapid rise through karting and Formula Toyota, Takagi made his Japanese F3 debut at just 18 with the all-conquering TOM’s outfit as a replacement for US-bound Jacques Villeneuve. A year later, he was in Japanese F3000, where he showed rapid pace, albeit with only the occasional win.

At the recommendation of former F1 driver (and his manager) Satoru Nakajima, he was signed to Tyrrell for the 1998 F1 season, but it was a difficult debut with an underfunded outfit and the need to learn every circuit he visited. Particularly impressive in qualifying, his race performances were wildly inconsistent.

With his PIAA sponsorship securing him a second season in F1 (this time with Arrows), it was more of the same from Tora, who was clearly in need of firmer guidance to iron out some of the kinks.

It would ultimately prove all too difficult, and he returned to Japan and back to Formula Nippon – winning eight of the ten races to romp to the title – before he ventured to the United States for two seasons of CART and then two seasons of IndyCar racing. He finished an impressive tenth overall in his rookie IndyCar season, which included a podium at Texas.

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