This article is from Takumi Takahashi, co-driver to Hiroshi Asakura. Unfortunately while in 8th place and leading the APRC’s Group N Production cup at the recent Rally of Whangarei, Asakura and Takahashi had a monumental crash that has essentially written off their Subaru Impreza GRB built by Arai Motors. According to this article Asakura will return to APRC at Rally Queensland.
I introduce Asakura-san career.
Asakura was born in 1981 and is a manager of his family’s multiple market company – main business is the sale of coffee. His motorsports history started from circuit at age 19 age.
Since 2003, he has entered SUPER ENDURANCE RACE (Japanese name: SUPER TAIKYU) which is one of the most popular circuit race series in Japan. He drove Mitsubishi LANCER, SUBARU IMPREZA and other cars.
Last year Arai Motorsports prepared IMPREZA GVB for this category. Asakura-san, his brother and Toshi Arai drove it. His best result for SUPER TAIKYU was 2nd.
Asakura is a reporter of a variety TV programs “CarXs TV” too. CarXs TV is broadcast in TOKYO and surrounding areas. Two years ago, he challenged Rally according to this TV program. Then Toshi Arai and Arai Motorsports gave him driving lectures and prepared his first rally car GDB IMPREZA.
Unfortunately his first rally season was not so good. Everyone thought that he would be a TV reporter who only drove as gentleman. But he was really earnest.
Last year he changed his rally car to IMPREZA GRB prepared by Arai Motors. And I was introduced to Asakura-san by Toshi Arai. Of course I thought that he would be not a competitor. For TV show, we took part in Japanese Rally Championship’s event. At that time he said “Hanging off the cliff! Rally driver is crazy”. He was a beginner who could not drive on gravel road. But he had a great challenging spirit for rally. Though the result was not good, he got more passion for rally.
Then he obtained skill for fast rally driver according to Toshi Arai’s advice. We entered 5 events of JRC. At Rally Hokkaido, we took part in as JRC. Regrettably he rolled over at the scrap yard where his current CUSCO Team-mate Michael Young son dropped in. Last year the best result of JRC was 8th. It was enough for the rookie’s performance. Probably I was most surprised.
This year there were some proposals for Asakura. Then he chose APRC Production cup and Asia cup with CUSCO, ENDLESS and YOKOHAMA TIRE. Of course we understand that he has no enough skill for competition in APRC. But he is the rookie and will be new hero for APRC . I believe that he can continue Rally in the future. So we decided to challenge not so much domestic JRC but APRC for his future.
His Whangarei Rally was very unhappy. The IMPREZA had very serious damage. But his challenging spirit continues. Already he started training for next Queensland.
And our target is as follows. -In Rally Hokkaido, we shall return by IMPREZA. And we shall get the best result.
Up to Rally Hokkaido, we will take part in by CUSCO’s proton or other car. But it’s not for training. He shall best fight.
Hiroshi Asakura (Driver) -Born at Tochigi, Japan in 1981
-1999(18 age) Circuit race debut in clubman event
-2000(19 age) ASN approved race debut by TOYOTA ALTEZZA (Lexus IS)
-2003(22 age) SUPER TAIKYO debut by MITSUBISHI LANCER
-2011 Rally debut by IMPREZA GDB TOYA RALLY – Retired: Mechanical RALLY HOKKAIDO (OPEN CLASS) – complete the full distance
-2012 Japanese Rally Championship debut by IMPREZA GRB KUMA KOUGEN RALLY – 9th TOKYO RALLY – 10th TOYA RALLY – Retired: off road GUNMA MONTRE – 8th RALLY HOKKAIDO – Retired: roll over Other domestic rally events BICC SNOW RALLY – complete the full distance MORE RALLY – 1st –
2013 APRC Whangarei – Retired: off road Other domestic rally events BICC SNOW RALLY – 12th
Experience of Asakura’s rally is two years and total 11 times.
Takumi Takahashi (Co-Driver) -Born at NIIGATA, Japan in 1971
-1990 Rally debut (Driver) in clubman event
-1991 Co-Driver debut in clubman event
-2000 Japanese Rally Championship debut
-2006 RALLY HOKAIDO (APRC) – 7th
-2010 RALLY JAPAN (PWRC) – 4th
-Since 2012, I have combined with Asakura.
My experience of rally is International: 7 times Domestic(Japan): over 150 times