Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Tag: formula 3

Old relics: Michel Vaillant’s Toyota Adventure

Or should it rather be called Jean Graton’s Toyota Adventure??

I picked up this comic book at the local second hand comic store for way too much money, but I don’t really car anyway: it is worth every penny!
Michel Vaillant's Toyota Adventure
For the people not familiar with Jean Graton’s Michel Vaillant series: it is all about Michel Vaillant, a French aristocrat who’s family owns a transporting company. Michel’s dad got into racing in the late 30s and Michel takes over his role as first driver. Most of the stories are based around existing cars, tracks and races, with the exception that the family always design and build their own race cars (the Vaillantes). Apparently Jean Graton persuaded by the Dutch Toyota importer to draw this one off episode around a Dutch driver called Adriaan Janssens who drives the 1979 Chevron Formula 3 car and the episode ends with a victory for Toyota at Zandvoort.

On these pages you can see the new March 793 (are those SSR Mk. III rims at the rear??), the older Chevron B47 in the background and also two Toyota KE70 liftbacks: Continue reading

Keiichi Tsuchiya driving the Macau GP Formula 3 in 1990

Everybody remembers Macau GP 1990 of the clash between Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher. A race which showed what both drivers were capable of back then and later in their careers.
Hakkinen and Schumacher at 1990 Macau GP and still smiling, probably before crash

For those who don’t know the story in a nutshell:
Mika Hakkinen, a famous Formula 3 driver back then, already won first leg of the Macau GP 1990 and needed to get second in the second leg of the race. He started okay, but an unknown Formula 3 driver called Michael Schumacher was just a bit quicker and drove in front of Mika Hakkinen.

Hakkinen could not pass Schumacher and Schumacher could not shake off Hakkinen. Hakkinen remained where he was during the whole race since he only needed to get second. Schumacher could not win this race by getting first. Schumacher left open a gap in the last round and Hakkinen fell for the trap: Schumacher closed the gap and hit Hakkinen’s nose of the car. The car crashed into the wall and Hakkinen just lost the race by getting too eager to get first. If you want to see this happen, watch this:
Schumacher vs Hakkinen at the Macau GP 1990.

Of course with the knowledge of the Formula 1 races we now know that this is Schumachers trademark: compare this incident with Damon Hill’s and Jaques Villeneuve’s incidents with Schumacher. ;)

Anyway, what not many people know is that in that very same race someone else crashed into the wall as well: Keiichi Tsuchiya.

Tsuchiya was racing one time only for team Takasu Clinic with the Ralt RT34 chassis (Mugen-Honda), the predecessor of the chassis he was going to use through his 1991 Formula 3 season with Team 5Zigen.

He was 12th in the race and was making progress to climb up.

Here you can see the track layout:
Macau circuit overview map
Just when he was overtaking at the streight before Lisboa bend, the car in front drove its own line without seeing him passing. He gets pushed into the guardrail and exit Keiichi.

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