Story of The Drift King>>>Keiichi Tsuchiya
Keiichi Tsuchiya began racing at a young age as most great drivers do. As he was learning to drive he began experimenting with the side brake or E-brake lever. Sliding the back end of the car out and counter steering was fun and taught him the basics of car control. Unlike many great racecar drivers he did not go to a racing school or have a rich family that was into the racing scene that could nurture his racing talents. He just had the basic passion to drive. Driving through local mountain roads he began to build a sense of where a car needs to be at each turn to achieve maximum speed through a corner. This not being a safe and smart way of learning to race he never the less learned much from running (Touge) mountain pass roads. From time to time he found himself off a cliff with his KPGC10 Skyline or against the side of a wall. Having snow in the wintertime further trained him to drive well on loose surface conditions enhancing again his car control skill. The more he drove on these roads and conditions of various road surfaces he began to get comfortable with sliding the car through a corner. He started to drift not because it was a quicker way around a corner but it was the most exciting way.
Enter the Drift King. Drifting a car through a corner is not the fastest way around most turns any racecar driver will tell you strait out. This is where Keiichi Tsuchiya was crowned the Dori Kin or Drift King. In Option drift contests; style and technique are evaluated for exhibition values. Lately contests have been judged on racing lines and setup for multiple corner drifting, this is more difficult. Back in 1977 Keiichi began his racing career driving many different cars in amateur racing series events. Racing these underpowered cars was difficult but again a great learning experience. Later Keiichi was picked up to drive the ADVAN sponsored AE86/1984 Corolla GT-S. During many races on a downhill corner he would drift the car and carry a better corner speed than his competitors. This technique is what made him the Drift King not as most believe that he was first in the drift scene. As he proved his style of driving his reputation grew. He is a racecar driver now and still takes to the mountains for illegal racing this also made his reputation grow. After videos featuring him and his persistent mountain running/Drifting his driver’s license was suspended! For a professional racecar driver this was embarrassing. Unknowingly this worked to his advantage, his fan base and fame began to expand. You could say that he is a rebel of some sort or because he was just a person who went from nowhere to success out of determination with no racing background. He still has a bond for an old car that he grew up racing, drifting, and winning with, the Toyota AE86. You can see this by his video series dedicated to this car that is called AE86 Club. Toyota itself also felt that he is the person to represent the car most and presented him a restored AE86 through TRD.
Driving History: Keiichi Tsuchiya
Born January 19561977 Debut in Fuji Freshman series.1977-1984 Ran selected entries in All Japan Touring Car championship.1984 Fuji Freshman series race (Toyota AE86)= 6 wins1985 All Japan Touring Car championship (Toyota AE86) 1st in Class 31986 Corolla Sprinter Cup-2 podium places1987 All Japan Touring Car championship (Honda Civic)-1 win1988 Toyota Cup-1st overall All Japan Touring Car championship (BMW M30)-3rd in Class 2 Macau Guia race (BMW M3)-4th overall1989 All Japan F3 championship All Japan Touring Car championship (Ford Sierra Cosworth)-1 win1990 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 overall1992 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 Hours1994 All Japan GT championship (Porsche 911T)-1 win All Japan Touring Car championship (Honda Civic) Suzuka 1000kms (Porsche 911T)-1st in class, 2nd overall Le Mans 24 Hours (Honda NSX)-18th overall1995 All Japan GT championship (Porsche911TRSR) All Japan Touring Car championship (Honda Civic) Suzuka 1000kms (Honda NSX)-5th overall Tokachi 12 Hours (Honda NSX)-1st overall Le Mans 24 Hours (Honda NSX)-1st in class1996 All Japan GT championship (Honda NSX)-13th overall Entered NASCAR Thunder Special race at Suzuka Le mans 24 Hours (Honda NSX)-3rd in class1997 All Japan GT championship (Porsche 911/Dodge Viper) Fuji InterTec race (Toyota Chaser) Suzuka 1000kms (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 race1998 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).2000-2001 he joined team ARTA racing a NSX once again in the All Japan GT championship.
Keiichi Tsuchiya :“Drive by Drift, It is easy to make plans but difficult to carry them out”