Kunimitsu Takahashi (born 29 January 1940 and died 16 March 2022) was a Japanese motorcycle racer, racing driver and team manager. His career spanned from 1958 to 1999, during which he finished 9th in the 1977 Japanese Grand Prix.
His motor racing career began with motorcycles in 1958. He became the first Japanese rider to win a motorcycle Grand Prix, winning at Hockenheim with Honda. He suffered serious injuries at the 1962 Isle of Man TT, ultimately leading him to switch to car racing a few years later.
By 1975, he was racing in the Japanese Super Formula series. He was invited to participate in the 1977 Japanese Grand Prix driving a non-works Tyrrell that had been used by Kazuyoshi Hoshino at the previous year's event. He finished in 9th position from 22nd on the grid.
After his only Formula One race, he continued racing in Super Formula until 1994. In the 1980s, he began racing sports cars and touring cars, appearing in the Japanese Touring Car Championship and All-Japan Sports Prototype Championship, in which he was a four-time champion.
In 1986, he made his first appearance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the German Kremer Racing team driving a Porsche 962C. He participated with the team annually until 1990. He returned to the team for the 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans driving a Honda NSX GT2.
He formed Team Kuminitsu in 1994 to compete in the inaugural All Japan Grand Touring Car Championship series, now called Super GT. The team also entered in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995 and 1996, finishing first in class and third in class, respectively.
Takahashi retired from driving in 1999, focusing on the management of the team. In 2018 and 2020, the team won the championship.
Takahashi died in March 2022 after a battle with cancer.
Formula One Statistical Overview
Formula One Record
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Points||WDC Pos.|
|1977||Meiritsu Racing Team||Tyrrell-Cosworth||0||NC|
|Front Row Starts||0|
|Distance Raced||309 km (192 mi)|
|Complete Formula One Results|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap||DNS||Did not start|
|18th†||Classified finish (retired with >90% race distance)||NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)|
|4thP||Qualified for pole position||[+] More Symbols|
|v·d·e||Nominate this page for Featured Article|