Roger Yasukawa


Record updated 10-Oct-06

Roger Yasukawa is an Japanese American racing driver. Starting out in karts, Roger has raced in Europe but with no prospect of an F1 drive, he is concentrating on racing at the highest level in the USA.

Roger Yasukawa
Roger Yasukawa was born in Los Angeles of Japanese parents and is fluent in English, Japanese, and Italian, having attended school in Japan, the US and Italy. He is the son of a veteran Formula One marketing executive. His father, Minoru, worked with the Leyton House Formula One team, and has worked with the marketing department of the McLaren team for the past 10 years. Roger starting out karting in Southern California at the age of 12 and went on to win the California State Championship in 1991 in Junior Sportsman. He then moved to Italy to compete in JICA.

He drove in the Formula Vauxhall Junior Championship in 1997 in England, before moving back to the United States where he won the West Coast Skip Barber Formula Dodge Championship the following year winning 10 of 11 races in 1998.

He went back to the UK to compete in the inaugural Palmer Audi Championship, before driving several years in the Barber Dodge Pro Series in the States. In 1999 he won rookie of the year honors and after a disappointing 2000, he ran a third season in 2001, winning the first race at Vancouver and claiming three more podium finishes.

In 2002 he moved up to the Toyota Atlantic championship in 2002 as a team-mate to Ryan Hunter-Reay. He was the top point scorer on oval tracks during his rookie season and finished 10th in the point. He then signed to drive for former Formula One driver Aguri Suzuki's new IRL team, Super Aguri/Adrian Fernandez Racing, to drive the Panasonic Honda Dallara in 2003. He came second in the rookie-of-the-year standings to Dan Wheldon and finished 12th overall in the championship.

He ran in the Indy 500 for the first time that year, qualifying in 11th place and finishing 10th.

He ran only two races for Bobby Rahal in 2004, one of them being the Indy 500, finishing 10th both times. He ran a full season in 2005 with Dreyer & Reinbold but struggled to find his form. He ran at Indy again qualifying 17th he finished a dissapointing 18th. He drove in the 2006 Indianapolis 500 for Playa Del Racing, finishing 16th after a dissapointing qualifying session which saw him start from 28th place on the grid.