A man who fought together for 20 years | Racing driver Vol.1 who made a legend with Yokohama tires

In early 1976, Tetsuo Suzuki mechanic, who was in the maintenance of Japan and France, received a phone call to Takao Wada's house.
"I am looking for a rider for a Yokohama tire [hereinafter Yokohama] works car," he said.

As I learned later, it seems that Kenji Takahashi, a driver of Tomei Motors, recommended it. It is, as it were, expected from the seniors of the race. Takahashi made his debut in Fairlady 2000 in 1969 and was active in the Fairlady Z and Sunny of Tomei Tune.

Suzuki who contacted Wada was the mechanic of Yoshihiro Taniguchi, who was running the Alpine A364 [FJ1300] with the support of Yokohama. I talked to Suzuki about 30 minutes on the phone, and one week later, I was asked to be introduced by the development staff of Yokohama.
“I went to the Hiratsuka factory with Mr. Suzuki, wearing a suit of Ichiwara. Mr. Masaharu Sekoguchi and Mr. Takashi Yamashita, who are technical designers, and Mr. Tadanobu Nagumo, who I think is the second one in Yokohama. Chairman and CEO] were lined up.

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It seems that my ability is already known. For the time being, it was decided to develop a tire for a touring car and participate in the race. Round 1 was the JAF Grand Prix on May 3, 1976. ''

The development of Yokohama's commercial tire was initially entrusted to Osamu Mochizuki. Mochizuki is a theoretical driver who won the first Japan Grand Prix with Suzulite and then joined Mitsubishi Works.

Furthermore, he has signed a contract with Tatsuo Yonemura, who will become Isuzu Works driver, as a test driver from 1966. Yonemura is in charge of the basic tests, and since November 1970, Mitsuhiro Otsuka has signed a contract only for the race and pre-race practice. The Fairlady Z on which Otsuka rides is owned by Yokohama, and the tuner is maintained by Japan and France [the Tetsuo Suzuki mechanic belongs].

In May 1991, young Hiroshi Taniguchi decided to participate in the tire test. It was Masao Mizuno, who is the sales staff of the Yokohama Rubber head office, who spoke to Taniguchi. Suzuki, a mechanic who just moved to Tokyo from Taniguchi and Hokkaido, had a horse. Since then, Yokohama and Suzuki have had a close relationship. It was decided to contact Wada as a window for Yokohama.

Therefore, from the beginning Suzuki was connected to the “fateful phone” that determines the race life of Wada.

Wada won the solo run in the "74 Fuji Touring Champion Race Round 1" on March 24, 1974. Second place is Nobuo Matsumoto on the right.

Posted: Nostalgic Hero December 2011 Vol.148 [All contents in this article are as of the time of publication]
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