ARCHIVE IMAGE(S) OF THE MONTH
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The only way is up ... Masahiro Hasemi from the Japanese Autosport magazine, 1965
The SP311 Fairlady 1600 of driver Masahiro Hasemi comes to grief at the CCC race at the All Japan meeting at the Funabashi race circuit, Chiba Prefecture, Tokyo in 1965. This was one of three Fairlady 1600s entered by SCCN, a racing team formed by Genechiro Techara, the winner of the sports car race at the first Japan Grand Prix meeting in 1963, with the support of Nissan. The other two drivers were Kunimitsu Takahashi and Moto Kitano.
Masahiro Hasemi was a highly successful sports car driver and raced the famous Kojima special in the 1976 Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji. In 1980 he achieved a grand slam in Japan by winning the four major national championships; the All Japan Formula 2, Suzuka Formula 1, the Grand Championship sports car and All Japan Formula Pacific series. He raced many Nissans for the factory and for his own team Hasemi Racing, which he later went on to manage. In 1992 he shared the winning Nissan in the 1992 Daytona 24-hours.
Moto Kitano had an illustrious race career on 2 wheels as a factory Honda rider, and on 4 wheels, winning the Japanese Grand Prix in 1968, and as a works driver of the Nissan R-380, R-381 and R-382.
Kunimitsu Takahashi also started on two wheels with Honda and in 1961 became the first Japanese rider to win a motorcycle Grand Prix, riding a 250cc Honda to victory at Hockenheim. He was seriously injured in the following year's Isle of Man TT and switched to car racing in 1965, becoming a test driver for Nissan. He drove a Tyrrell to 9th place in the 1977 Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji, after which he became a regular contender in the Fuji Grand Championship. He also raced the Nissan R-380 series. He was Japanese sports car champion on four occasions in the 1980s. Later he became the chairman of the GT association.
A big thankyou to Alan Thomas for sharing these images.
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