Maki Engineering was a former Japanese team, founded by Kenji Mimura and Masao Ono, as an ambitious project to fill in the steps left by Honda, who last raced in 1968. In 1974, Maki launched their first car, the F101, with a ubiquitous Cosworth DFV engine. The initial build of the car was large, bulky and overweight, and upon testing it was found to be slow and prone to understeer and overheating.
Former BRM driver Howden Ganley was signed to drive the team, although he initially thought his recruitment was a joke. Another driver named Shaw Hayami was set to be the second driver, but the team could not afford to build a second car. When the team was refused entry for Monaco, Ganley suggested the team improve the car, which they did produce the F101B, but the car was still overweight.
Maki eventually made their debut at Brands Hatch for the British Grand Prix, but failed to qualify, as Ganley was 1.3 seconds off Tim Schenken's Trojan who managed to qualify, and 4 seconds off Niki Lauda's pole time. During Friday practice at the German Grand Prix, Ganley was barely a mile into the Nürburgring when the rear suspension failed, resulting in his car crashing heavily and tearing off the front. Ganley's legs were so badly injured that his F1 career was effectively ended. This prompted Maki to withdraw from the rest of the season.
By 1975, Maki had came up with an improved car, named the F101C, with new sponsorship from Citizen Watches. Former Lotus driver Dave Walker was initially signed to drive the car, but as the team signed for the Belgian Grand Prix, only Walker showed up, while Maki was a no-show. After not showing up at Sweden again, Maki finally made their grand prix return at the Dutch Grand Prix, but instead of Walker behind the wheel, it was an unknown stranger named Hiroshi Fushida, who was the son of a kimono manufacturing company and has participated in events such as the 1972 Fuji Grand Champion series, Formula A and Trans-Am, making him the first Japanese driver to enter a race weekend. Although there were 25 starters, meaning that Maki had a guaranteed race start, Fushida was nine seconds slower than the next one ahead, Wilson Fittipaldi, and then the car's engine blew. Without spare engines, the team withdrew from the race, failing to start. The team returned for the British Grand Prix after missing out France, but Fushida was the slowest of all, 3.75 seconds slower than John Nicholson's Lyncar and 7.25 seconds off pole of the Shadow of Tom Pryce. Fushida was then replaced by British F3 champion Tony Trimmer for the German Grand Prix. Trimmer, who had communication difficulties with the all-Japanese crew, only managed to complete one lap of the Nürburgring with a relatively weak suspension, but he failed to qualify on his first outing on an unfamiliar track, as he was 6.7 seconds slower than Lella Lombardi's March and 44.5 seconds off Niki Lauda's pole time. Trimmer then failed to qualify for the next few races, owing to suspension issues, and the team therefore did not make it to the season-ending round at Watkins-Glen. The team however, managed to make its only start at the non-championship Swiss Grand Prix at Dijon, finishing 13th and last, six laps down from winner Clay Regazzoni.
By 1976, Ono had left the team and joined another named Kojima Engineering. This left Maki to design the F102, intending to enter the season-ending round at Fuji, which would be the first time Japan would host F1. Trimmer once again drove the car, but again failed to qualify, being 18 seconds off Mario Andretti's pole time and 13 seconds slower than the car ahead of him. In contrast, the Kojima qualified in 10th place. After the race, Maki was never seen and heard of again.
Formula One RecordsEdit
Formula One SummaryEdit
|Year||Cars||Engines||Tires||No.||Drivers||Round||WCC Points||WCC Points||Report|
|1974||F101||Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0||25||Howden Ganley||10–11||0||NC||Report|
|1975||F101C||Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0||35||Hiroshi Fushida||8, 10||0||NC||Report|
|1976||F102A||Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0||54||Tony Trimmer||16||0||NC||Report|
Complete Formula One ResultsEdit