Manabu 'Max' Orido
Manabu 'Max' Orido is a Japanese racing driver who has two Japanese GT Championship titles on his account, both in the GT300 class. He was a champion in 1997 while driving Nissan Silvia and then again in 2009, driving a Lexus IS350.
Orido participated just once at Le Mans 24 Hours and scored GT class podium in that attempt, driving a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in 2004. Orido was also successful in the Japanese drift racing D1 Grand Prix Series, scoring two wins.
Starting a career as a street racer
Born in December 1968 in Chiba, Manabu Orido started his racing career as a street racer and then entered touge racing, a Japanese version of drift competitions at mountain roads. Orido started a professional career in 1991, entering the drift competition sponsored by the Bandoh Chain of Commerce. He was a champion of the drift contest organized by Carboy magazine.
After that, Orido moved to circuit racing, entering the 1992 Fuji Freshman Series. He was a pretty successful in circuit races, deciding to make Japanese GT Championship debut in 1996.
JGTC debut in 1996, championship title in 1997
Orido made four starts in the 1996 All-Japan Grand Touring Championship. He was driving Nissan Skyline R32 for Team Jun in three races and Toyota MR2 for Team Taisan Jr at Sportsland Sugo.
For the 1997 JGTC season, Orido joined RS-R Racing Team with Bandoh, driving the #19 Nissan Silvia S14. He and Hideo Fukuyama scored two wins and five podiums to take the championship title in the GT300 class, beating nearest rivals by just one point.
In 1997, Orido also recorded one start in the FIA GT Championship, driving a Chrysler Viper GTS-R for Chamberlain Engineering at 1000 km of Suzuka.
Two successful seasons in a Toyota Celica
In 1998, Orido stayed with Racing Project Bandoh, switching to Toyota Celica ST205. His teammates in the #19 Toyota were Max Angelelli (three races) and Katsumi Yamamoto (one race). Despite missing a part of the season, Orido finished second in the championship, scoring three podiums in four races.
In 1999, he spent a full season in the #19 Toyota Celica, sharing a car with Takahiko Hara. They were race winners in the opening round at Suzuka and added three more podiums, finishing third in the final standings of the GT300 class.
In November 1999, Orido joined Roock Sport System to drive a Porsche 993 Carrera RSR in the non-championship Fuji 1000 km race. Together with Takashi Suzuki and Tomiko Yoshikawa, he finished 14th overall and 2nd in the LMGT class.
Eight seasons in the GT500 class
In 2000, Orido moved up to GT500 class, driving the #25 Toyota Supra for Tsuchiya Engineering, alongside Mitsuhiro Kinoshita. They were 18th in the final points. Orido spent one more season in the #25 Tsuchiya Toyota Supra, sharing a car with Seiji Ara and finishing 19th in the final standings.
For the 2002 JGTC season, Orido joined Team SARD to drive the #39 Toyota Supra together with Jeremie Dufour. Scoring one podium, he finished 14th in the points. In 2003, Orido scored his maiden GT500 victory at Autopolis, sharing the #39 Toyota Supra with Dominik Schwager. At the end of the season, they were sixth in the points.
In 2004, Orido returned to Team Tsuchiya and spent four more seasons in the GT500 class, driving the #25 Toyota Supra and Lexus SC430. In that four seasons, he scored two podiums in 2004 and one victory (Okayama) in 2005. His co-drivers were Dominik Schwager (2004, 2005) and Takeshi Tsuchiya (2006, 2007).
GT class podium at 2004 Le Mans 24 Hours
While competing in the GT500 class of the Japanese GT Championship and Super GT Series (since 2005), Orido had rare appearances outside Japan. In 2004, he joined ChoroQ Racing Team to drive the #77 Porsche 996 GT3 RSR in the Le Mans Series. He made a debut at 1000 km of Monza.
A month later, Orido made a debut at Le Mans 24 Hours, sharing a car with Haruki Kurosawa and Kazuyuki Nishizawa. They finished 12th overall and second in the GT class, five laps behind class winners. Later in the season, Orido participated in one more LMS race, at 1000 km of Nurburgring.
Second GT300 championship title in 2009
In the Super GT Series, Orido rejoined Racing Project Bandoh in 2008 and returned to GT300 class. He started a season with Toyota Celica, later switching to Lexus IS350. He won at Twin Ring Motegi, ending a season 12th in the points. Orido's teammate was Tsubasa Abe.
In 2009, Tatsuya Kataoka joined Orido in the #19 Lexus IS350. They won the season-opening race at Okayama and stayed in front until the end of the season, taking the championship title with a three-point advantage over closest rivals. Orido and Kataoka stayed one more season together in the #19 Lexus, finishing 8th in the 2010 Super GT Series.
WTCC debut in 2008, victory at Sepang in 2009
Outside Super GT Series, Orido made a debut in the World Touring Car Championship in 2008, driving a Chevrolet Lacetti for RML in the final three rounds of the championship – at Monza, Okayama and Macau. In six races, his best result was seventh place in the second race at Macau Guia Circuit.
In 2009, Orido gained a big international success, winning the Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race (today Sepang 12 Hours) at Sepang International Circuit. He was driving a BMW Z4 GT3 for Petronas Synthium Team, sharing a car with Tatsuya Kataoka and Johan Adzmi.
Driving Lamborghinis for JLOC since 2011
Orido left Bandoh in 2011 to join JLOC team. His new car was the #87 Lamborghini Gallardo. Sharing a car with Atsushi Yogo, Orido scored two podiums to finish 11th in the points. Next season was his best with Lamborghini. Scoring three podiums, he and Takayuki Aoki finished 8th in the GT300 classification.
Orido was driving JLOC's Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 for three more seasons, until 2015, scoring just one victory at Sugo in 2014, with Takayuki Aoki as his co-driver. In 2016, JLOC replaced Gallardo with Huracan GT3. Orido was sharing the #88 car with Kazuki Hiramine, scoring one podium to finish 11th in the points. In 2017, Orido and Hiramine stayed together in the #88 Lamborghini Huracan, scoring again one podium to finish 10th in the GT300 classification.
Successful D1 Grand Prix competitor
Besides having an impressive record in the GT racing, Orido is known also as a successful competitor in the Japanese D1 Grand Prix Series, the national drift racing championship.
First, Orido was a judge in the Japanese Professional Drift Championship which was inaugurated in 2000. Then, in 2005, he debuted as a driver in the D1 Grand Pix, being the regular competitor until 2015. He was driving mostly the V8-powered Toyota 86, scoring two victories.
Businessman and driving instructor
Manabu Orido isn't just a racing driver, he's a successful businessman and driving instructor. He teaches safe driving at NATS (Nihon Automobile High Technical School)
He owns the Ridox brand of custom aero parts for the Toyota Supra, with the parts designed by himself and promoted using his personal Toyota Supra. He's also managing the 130R Yokohama professional driving simulator facility.