Career Summary:

Kota Sasaki

  • January 26, 1974
  • 45
  • Japan
  • Super Gt Japan
  • 171
  • apr
  • 12
  • 23
  • 12
  • 8
  • 7.02%
  • 13.45%

Kota Sasaki is a Japanese racing driver who spent the most of his career in the Japanese Super GT Series (previously the All-Japan GT Championship). He was the GT300 class champion in 2005, driving a Toyota MR-S together with Tetsuya Yamano. He won three times at Suzuka 1000 Kilometers, the greatest Japanese endurance race for GT cars.

Sasaki was also successful outside Japanese GT Championship, winning the Aston Martin Asia Cup in 2008 and taking two class victories at 24 Hours of Nürburgring in 2011 and 2012.

Kota Sasaki 2016

Kota Sasaki

GT racing debut with Porsche in 2000

Born in January 1974 in Mie Prefecture at Honshu island, Sasaki spent early years of his career in single-seater competitions such were Formula Dream or Formula 3.

He made a debut in the All-Japan GT Championship in 2000, driving a Porsche 993 Carrera RSR for Team Daikokuya and Dentaire Project Racing. His co-driver was Seigou Nishizawa. Their best result was the fourth place in GT300 class at Suzuka 1000 Kilometers.

Two seasons with Ferrari 360 Modena

In the last round of the 2000 season, the team switched to Ferrari 360 Modena and it was Sasaki's car in 2001 when he participated in all seven rounds of the championship. Nishizawa stayed with him as a teammate.

In 2002, Sasaki stayed with Dentaire Project Racing for the third year in a row, continuing to share the #360 Ferrari with Seigou Nishizawa. That year, Sasaki also recorded a brief return to Formula 3, driving a Dallara-Toyota for Aim Sport in four races.

Tetsuya Yamano and Kota Sasaki (right) - 2005 GT300 champions

Tetsuya Yamano and Kota Sasaki (right) - 2005 GT300 champions

Maiden win in 2003, championship title in 2005

For the 2003 Japanese GT season, Sasaki moved to Team Reckless to drive the #31 Toyota MR-S. His co-driver was Satoru Gotou. They were race winners in the third round at Sportsland Sugo, what was Sasaki's maiden GT victory. They finished fifth in GT300 classification. In 2004, without wins in the #30 Toyota MR-S, Sasaki and Gotou finished ninth in the points.

In the 2005 season, the first under the Super GT Series name, Sasaki was sharing the #30 Toyota MR-S with Tetsuya Yamano. They were race winners just once, in the penultimate round at Autopolis, but it was good enough to win the championship title in GT300 class.

Switching to Nissan in 2006

With championship trophy in his hands, Sasaki changed the team for the 2006 Super GT season. He joined Mola to drive the #46 Nissan Fairlady Z together with Taku Bamba. They won the race at Sportsland Sugo, finishing seventh in GT300 classification.

In 2007, Naoki Yokomizo joined Sasaki in the #46 Nissan. After scoring two podiums, they finished seventh in the points. Outside Super GT Series, Sasaki participated in Okayama's round of the 2006 Japanese Le Mans Challenge, in one round of 2007 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and five races of 2007 Formula Nippon, driving a Lola-Toyota for Team Reckless Cerumo.

Sasaki was Aston Martin Asia Cup champion in 2008

Sasaki was Aston Martin Asia Cup champion in 2008

Aston Martin Asia Cup champion in 2008

In 2008, Sasaki gained a great success in the Aston Martin Asia Cup, driving an Aston Martin Vantage N24 for Team Reckless. After ten races, he became a champion, earning a place in the 2009 FIA GT4 Championship with Aston Martin. He never consumed that award.

In the 2008 Super GT season, Sasaki was driving the #77 Subaru Impreza for Cusco Racing, sharing a car in seven races with Tetsuya Yamano. They won the race at Sepang Circuit and Sasaki finished 11th in the points.

For the 2009 Super GT season, Sasaki partnered Naoya Yamano in a Lexus IS350 of Team Reckless with Shift. Without wins or podiums, he finished 17th in the points.

Two wins at Suzuka 1000km in a Subaru Legacy

Sasaki returned to Subaru in 2010, driving the #62 Subaru Legacy B4 for R&D Sport. His co-driver was Tetsuya Yamano again. They won Suzuka 1000 Kilometers but finished only 11th in the final standings.

Next year, in 2011, Sasaki and Yamano repeated a class victory at Suzuka 1000 Kilometers and added one more win at Autopolis, finishing fourth in the championship.

Kota Sasaki, 2013 Subaru

Kota Sasaki as Subaru driver

Two class wins at Nürburgring 24 Hours

In 2011, Sasaki also gained a great success outside Japan, scoring a class victory at 24 Hours of Nürburgring. He won in SP3T class with Subaru Impreza WRX, sharing a car with Carlo van Dam, Marcel Engels and Toshihiro Yoshida.

Next year, the same crew repeated the success, scoring one more SP3T class victory at Nürburgring Nordschleife's endurance race.

Super GT Subaru BRZ

Sasaki was driving Subaru BRZ until 2013

Three Super GT seasons in a Subaru BRZ

In the 2012 Super GT season, Sasaki stayed with R&D Sport, driving the #61 Subaru BRZ to 14th place at the end of the season, without wins or podiums in eight races. His teammate was Tetsuya Yamano.

In 2013, the #61 Subaru BRZ was the fastest in qualifying five times during a season but Sasaki and Yamano scored just one victory. It was at the greatest race of the season, the Suzuka 1000 Kilometers. The third driver in that race was Takuto Iguchi. At the end of the season, Sasaki was fourth in GT300 standings.

Sasaki spent one more season in the #61 Subaru BRZ, sharing a car with Takuto Iguchi in 2014. They won a race at Fuji Speedway, finishing fifth in the points.

Hiroaki Nagai and Kota Sasaki (right) in 2017

Hiroaki Nagai and Kota Sasaki (right) in 2017

Four seasons in a Toyota Prius

In 2015, Sasaki slowed down his Super GT commitments, participating in just three races, driving the #31 Toyota Prius for apr in two races and the #18 Toyota 86 MC for Team Upgarage with Bandoh in one race. Outside Super GT, he participated in four races of the GT3 Asian Championship with Dilango Racing's Lamborghini Gallardo.

In 2016, Sasaki joined apr team to drive a full season in the #30 Toyota Prius. He was sharing a car with Hiroaki Nagai. They were in points just once, finishing 24th in final standings. Two more seasons in the #30 Toyota Pris followed in 2017 and 2018. He was out of points in all races.

Outside Super GT Series, Sasaki returned to Nurburgring, finishing fifth in SP8 class with Lexus ISF CCS-R in 2017 and then second in SP8 class with Lexus RC-F in 2018. He also participated in the Blancpain GT Series Asia, driving a Ferrari 488 GT3 for ARN Racing.

Kota Sasaki Super GT Series

Kota Sasaki

Photos: Hiroshi Yamamura,,,