Tetsu Ikuzawa


Record updated 21-Aug-06

Tetsu Ikuzawa
Born on August 21, 1942, he is the son of a renowned painter Rou Ikuzawa.
After graduating from the School of Art, Nihon University, he began his career as a motor cycle rider.
Among other races, he participated in the famous Mount Asama Motorcycle Race in 1955, which was a combination of a road race and a off-road trial on a volcanic slope of an active volcano north of Tokyo. 

He was hired by the Prince Auto Co., which was later acquired by Nissan in 1966, to be a driver.  His debut race the first Japan Grand Prix in 1963. He drove Prince Skyline Sport GT.
For the second Japan Grand Prix he drove Prince Skyline GT 546 and had a legendary battle against Porsche 904 GTS.  This race has created the "Skyline Legend" among Japanese race fans.
He had many memorable races.  Among them, the battle against legendary late Toujiro Ukiya in a 1965 race in Funabashi circuit is still much talked about among Japanese race enthusiasts.

After driving "Prince R 380" in the third Japan Grand Prix, he quit Prince Auto Co., and left for Europe by himself and in 1967, he won the British F-3 series.  That was the first such triumph by a Japanese driver in the European racing circuit. 

The same year he entered " Nurburgring 500 Kilometer" with "Honda S800 Coupe" and won the 1,000 cc and under class.
His races at the Brands Hatch Circuit in Britain on the RSC-tuned Honda S800 attracted much attention of the press then.
He won the forth Japan Grand Prix with " Porsche Carrera 6" in 1967. He became a genuine star both in and out of the racing circuit in Japan.
He joined Porsche AG in 1968 and drove Porsche 908 in the Watkins Glen 6 Hour race in the United States.

He entered European F-2 with Lotus 69FVA. He raced fairly well. He established his own racing team "Team Nippon" in 1972 with the legendary driver, late Hiroshi Kazato.  However, mostly because their vehicle "GRD 272" by the British newcomer GRD performed poorly, he had to withdraw from European races in 1973.  Sadly, this was the end of the pursuit of his biggest dream,"F-1".

Despite the setback, Ikuzawa continued to race in Japan.  In 1973 he drove "Sigma MC73" for his first entry in to the famed Le Mans 24-hour race.  The last major race he won was the Fuji Grand Champion Series in 1977.  And he gots a Championship in 1977.

He broke his semi-retirement in 1980 to challenge Le Mans with Kramer Porsche 935 Turbo. 

During 1980s he was the director of a Japanese F-2 racing team.  There he nurtured the eventual first Japanese F-1 driver Satoru Nakajima.  He was also the director of Nissan Europe Racing Team and led the team in endurance races, including Le Mans. 

Today he continues to be one of the most visible figures in racing circuit. He is working for development of auto racing in Japan.

Tetsu Ikuzawa's Lotus 69 - Cosworth FVA with Johnny Blades's Lotus 59B - Cosworth FVA behind.