Koudai Tsukakoshi is a Japanese racing driver who currently competes in two major Japanese championships – Super GT Series and Super Formula, driving for Honda in both competitions.
He made Super GT debut in 2008, finishing best as a vice-champion in 2013. In Super Formula, Tsukakoshi made a debut in 2009, finishing best in the second place in 2012. Outside Japan, Koudai's greatest success was the second place at Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix in 2007.
Formula 4 and Formula Dream champion early in a career
Born in November 1986, Koudai was driving go-karts since the age of six, entering official competitions at the age of 12. After winning few championship titles in karting, and a scholarship at Suzuka Racing School, he switched to formula racing in 2004.
His first competitions were Formula 4 West Japan (1st place) and Formula Dream (5th place), Then, he won the championship title in Formula Dream in 2005. The next step was the Japanese Formula 3 Championship in 2006, which he entered as Honda Team Mugen driver.
Koudai Tsukakoshi at 2007 Macau Grand Prix
Podium at 2007 Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix
In his first Formula 3 season, Koudai was a race winner once and he finished fifth in the points. In 2007, he won two races in the Formula 3 Championship but finished fifth in the points again. The highlight of the season was a podium at non-championship Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix. He was second at Macau Guia Circuit, behind Oliver Jarvis.
In 2008, Koudai moved his career to Europe, driving a Dallara-Mercedes for Manor Motorsport in the Formula 3 Euro Series. After scoring six podiums, he finished sixth in the points.
Super GT Series debut in 2008, full-time schedule since 2009
In 2008, Koudai also made a debut in the Super GT Series, joining Real Racing at Suzuka 1000 as the third driver in the #17 Honda NSX. He was sharing a car with Katsutomo Kaneishi and Toshihiro Kaneishi, not finishing the race.
In 2009, Koudai joined Keihin Real Racing as the full-time driver in the #17 Honda NSX, with Toshihiro Kaneishi as his co-driver. They were on a podium two times, finishing fifth in the points. In 2009, Tsukakoshi also started to race full-time in the Super Formula Championship with HFDP Racing, driving the #10 Honda. Without wins or podiums, he finished seventh in the points.
Maiden Super GT victory in 2010 at Sportsland Sugo
Tsukakoshi continued with a double programme in Japan in 2010. He clinched his maiden Super GT victory in the #17 Honda HSV-010 GT at Sportsland Sugo, together with Toshihiro Kaneishi. They added one more podium to their accounts to finish third in the championship.
In the 2010 Super Formula season, Tsukakoshi was on a podium once, finishing second at Motegi, and he ended a season ninth in the points.
Koudai Tsukakoshi in 2012
Super Formula vice-champion in 2012
In 2011, Tsukakoshi stayed with Real Racing in the Super GT Series, still sharing a car with Toshihiro Kaneishi, and joined Docomo Team Dandelion Racing in the Super Formula to drive the #41 Honda. That year, he scored three podiums in GT races and two podiums in Super Formula.
Then, in 2012, Tsukakoshi scored his maiden Super Formula victory at Autopolis and added five more podiums to finish as a vice-champion, losing a title by three points to Kazuki Nakajima.
Koudai Tsukakoshi and Toshihiro Kaneishi in 2013
Super GT Series vice-champion in 2013
In 2013, Tsukakoshi scored his career-best result in the Super GT Series, finishing second in the championship after he scored four podiums in the #17 Honda HSV-010 GT of Real Racing. He was sharing a car with Toshihiro Kaneishi. They lost a title by two points to Kohei Hirate and Yuji Tachikawa.
In the 2013 Super Formula season, Koudai moved from Dandelion Racing to Real Racing, driving the #10 Honda and finishing 15th in the championship.
Double programme with Real Racing
Koudai is still today driving for Real Racing in both championships, never repeating results from 2012 and 2013. In the Super GT Series, he was without wins from 2014 to 2017, sharing the #17 Honda with Toshihiro Kaneishi (2014), Hideki Mutoh (2015), Takashi Kogure (since 2016). Finally, in 2018, he and Kogure won a race in the #17 Honda, triumphing in the season-opening round at Okayama. At the end of that season, they were seventh in the points. In 2019, Tsukakoshi was sharing the #17 car with Bertrand Baguette, finishing sixth in the points with one podium.
In the Super Formula, Koudai scored no wins in the #10 Honda from 2014 to 2017, only one podium in 2016. In 2018, he stayed with Real Racing but switched to the #17 Honda, to have the same number as on his GT car. He was again without wins or podiums, finishing 13th in the points.
Koudai had a plan to leave Super Formula in 2019, being replaced by Tristan Carpentier, but he was invited back after just one round.
Koudai Tsukakoshi and Takashi Kogure are partners since 2016