Sometimes referred to as the "Japanese Pescarolo", Yojiro Terada is one of the most enduring of all enduance racers. He speaks here about his career and the ’Asian Le Mans Series.
With 29 Le Mans starts on his record, Yojiro Terada holds the record largest number of entries without an overall win, (his best finish was 7th in 1995 although he had several class victories). He also contributed to the success of the Mazda 787B in the 1991 24 hours. This has not diminished the enthusiasm or determination of the legendary Japanese driver. He been involved tirelessly in the development of endurance racing in Asia.
Could you tell us about your driving career?
Yojiro Terada : "I started racing in 1965, at essentially what was 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 compete in Europe and America. That is why I raced at 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."
The champions of LM P2, GTE and GTC classes in the Asian Le Mans Series will have automatic invitations to the 2014 24 Heures Du Mans, What do you think of this opportunity?
"When I started at Le Mans there was no established way to enter 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 great news to know there will be a minimum of three Asian cars at Le Mans in 2014."
What is the most important factor for the success of the Asian LMS in Japan?
"As you know, the organizers have been working hard to achieve the support of manufacturers such as Audi, Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin. This is an important issue."