The pro driver of the Upgarage team is competing in Formula Drift USA – Kazuya Taguchi – the journey to conquer the fierce races with Toyota 86


I first met him in 2018 at the annual company event held for employees, in our company, everyone loves racing, so the event was held at Fuji Speedway, one of the most famous racing tracks in Japan. I can not forget the feeling of seating in the passenger seat in the S15 next to the pro driver for the first time.

He is a racing enthusiast!

Kazuya Taguchi was born in 1992 in Hokkaido, the second largest island and northernmost prefecture in Japan. He had a dream of becoming a pro driver from a very young age and finally that dream has indeed come true. He had competed in both D1 GRAND PRIX and Formula Drift Japan since 2014 and then transitioned to Formula Drift USA. He made his debut in the US in 2018 in Round 1 Streets of Long Beach in the Jerry Yang Racing. From an unknown driver, he is currently ranked 9th in the scoreboard (442 points) of Formula Drift USA. 

URL from Formula Drift

So Why does he love racing so much and What different about his machine?

Let’s find out through our short interview with him!

…How did you want to become a pro driver?

When I was three years old, my mother had a serious illness and was hospitalized. I cried so much when my dad could not always by my side. I still vividly remember he telling me when he bought me a racing game that let’s play something you can concentrate on. At the age of three, I enjoyed driving a car in the games and remembered the feeling of the admiration for pro drivers. When I was 12 years old, I saw a drift at a local racing track and fell in love with it at the first sight.

I made a drift debut at the racing track at the age of 15. At the age of 16, I just entered the local drift race with no pressure. Of course, I got a lot of attention as “the only high school driver”. However, it was a big failure, I was defeated in the first round. So, looking at the big backs of the people who are active, I thought, “I definitely want to be an pro driver who can play an big role in this world.”

Could you talk about your racing car?

I drove SILVIA S15 in Japan racing and after transiting to the US, it was the VR41 powered 2014 Nissan GT-R. Jerry Yang Racing built me a Silvia Nissan S15 which I piloted for the 2019 and 2020 season. I have been competing with the Toyota 86 since 2011.

Here is some information about my car:

  • Engine: Nissan R35 GTR. The genuine 3.8L engine has a displacement of 4.1L, equipped with two Gerrett turbos, has an output of 1300 horsepower and has a torque of 125kgfm.
  • ECU: Motec
  • Transmission: 6XD sequential 6-speed
  • Front and rear arm kits: wisefab and the front is equipped with a kit for BMW E36.
  • In addition, multiple modifications such as Winters quick change and radiator moved to the rear side have been adopted.
  • Wheels: Weds sport TC105X (Front // 18×8.5J ET43, Rear // 18×9.5J ET10)
  • Tires: GT Radial Champiro SX2 RS (Front // 245 / 40R18, Rear // 295 / 40R18)
  • The muffler and exhaust manifold are all original to the team.

At the end of the interview, I still kept in my mind the story about the most memorable motorsport activity when he just came to America for the very first race. “I wasn’t well known in the United States, but when I was able to drive very well in one round, several spectators who came to the site surrounded my car on the way back to the pits and applauded me. The moment when the foreigner like me was cheered as the winner, I felt that through racing we can bridge the gap of language, countries and make people become closer”.

Through those words, I knew that he had to work very hard when he is in another country. Your love is a great encouragement to help him overcome all difficulties and conquer races successfully.

Finally, we wish him all the best in his future endeavors!

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