Mazda driver Yojiro Terada talks about the Asian sportscar series

The Asian Le Mans Series continues to prepare for their 2013 season with special interviews. This week Yojiro Terada talks about his racing career.

Yojiro Terada is a Japanese racing driver from Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture. He holds the distinction of being the driver with the most starts at the 24 Hours of Le Mans without ever having won with 29 races under his belt (28 of which were consecutive). He is also third behind Henri Pescarolo and Bob Wollek for the drivers with the most total Le Mans races. His best overall finish was seventh in 1995 although he has had several class victories over the years.

Yojiro Terada
Yojiro Terada

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

He began his racing career in a Honda S600 in 1969 after which he was taken on as Mazda's factory driver, a position he held through the 1990s, including racing in the World Sportscar Championship and All Japan Sports Prototype Championship. He also took class wins at the 24 Hours of Daytona on two occasions, including in the Mazda RX-7's debut race in 1979, scoring a GTU class win at fifth place overall. The other occasion was a fourth place overall finish and a GTO class win in 1982.

Question: Could you talk a little about your driving experience? I started to race in 1965, essentially the dawn of Japanese motor racing. From 1974 to 1976, I won the Fuji Tourist Trophy race three times but my target was always to join European and American races. That is why I participated in the Spa Francorchamps, Daytona, and Le Mans, the three big 24 hours races. I was the first Japanese driver to take part in those races. Since that date, Le Mans has remained my passion and I have participated 29 times total in the Le Mans 24 hours race.

Yojiro Terada
Yojiro Terada

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Q: The champions of LMP2, GTE and GTC categories in Asian LMS Series will automatically be entered into the 2014 24 Heures Du Mans, What do you think about this opportunity? When I started my challenge to Le Mans there was no established way to join the race. That made things very difficult to secure a position on the grid. The new system under the Asian Le Mans Series has opened new horizons for possible Asian entrants and it is heartening and big news to know there will be a minimum of three Asian cars in Le Mans 2014.

Q: In your opinion what is the most important factor for the success of Asian LMS in Japan? As you know and as the organizers have been working hard to achieve, the support of manufacturers like Audi, Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin etc is an important issue.

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About this article
Series Asian Le Mans , Le Mans
Drivers Henri Pescarolo , Yojiro Terada , Eric Gilbert , Bob Wollek
Article type Interview
Tags asian le mans, aslms, lemans, mazda, yojiro terada