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Hiroshi Fushida

10th March 1946 (Age 74)
Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
Most recent race (in database):

Hiroshi Fushida is best remembered by Grand Prix aficionados for two failed attempts to qualify the recalcitrant Maki F101C-Ford. He was one of three drivers to represent the Japanese marque during 1975 with Howden Ganley and Tony Trimmer similarly unable to coax the car into the Formula 1 field.

Having been test driver for the project during 1974, Fushida replaced Ganley for the 1975 Dutch and British GPs but engine failure and then slowest of all in practice at Silverstone extended Maki’s record of DNQs.

The son of Japan’s largest kimono manufacturer, Fushida was a professional racing driver with Honda when still a teenager. At a time when Japanese drivers rarely raced abroad, Fushida’s outlook was not so isolationist.

He competed in North American Formula A (later known as Formula 5000) during 1969 and 1970 and was third at Kent that second season. His North American years also included a frightening Trans-Am accident at Elkhart Lake in 1971 when he crashed into a tree and was trapped in the car for a couple of hours.

Fushida made a full recovery and shared Le Mans history with Tetsu Ikusawa in 1973 as the first Japanese drivers to start. He was also fifth overall (winning his class) in the 1975 Bathurst 1000 with a Mazda MX3.

He turned to team management during the 1980s and was instrumental as TOM’s raced in British Formula 3 and Le Mans. Fujita was Development Director when Bentley returned to the race in 2001.