With 5 championship titles under its belt, DRQ Motorsports has been a mainstay in the Philippine karting community’s winner’s circle over the last few years. But facing stiff competition in 2023, they’ve decided to reach out to a pair of motorsport legends to help them stay ahead. Joining their paddock this season are Takeharu Nakamori and Takehiko Kuchikata from Japan.
Nakamori-san is a renowned karter with over 25 years of experience. He has a fine collection of silverware from all his race wins and championships that are too many to mention. From the IAME Series, ROK Cup, and Rotax Max Challenge be it in his home country of Japan, Asia, Europe, USA, or World Finals, he has won them all be it in one category or another. With his distinct blonde-dyed hair, he was even a regular in the local paddock with a brief stint competing in the Philippines back in ’16 and ’17.
He has taken on the role to coach DRQ Motorsports and its roster of karters in 2023. His knowledge will prove vital to improve the team’s race craft this season.
Kuchikata-san, on the other hand, is another kart legend in his own right. Though also a karter himself, he’s better known for his skillset as a kart engineer (or as he humbly calls himself a ‘kart mechanic’). His expertise in kart setup has made champions across the globe, making him a vital commodity to top teams. Kuchikata-san has over 20 years experience as a ‘kart mechanic’ and was even recognized for his contributions to the Philippine motorsports community during the 2019 Golden Wheel Awards in 2019.
Together, Nakamori-san and Kuchikata-san hope to make champions out of the DRQ Motorsports’ roster of karters. All eyes are also on the team’s Junior Class karter Arion Crosby who are working very closely with the two.
“After a few coaching sessions, I felt that Arion has improved a lot and will be faster from now on. But I think he still needs experience especially in overseas races. I saw his talent and my goal for him is to be Philippine champion,” shared Takeharu Nakamori about Arion.
“My impression is that DRQ Motorsports will be a strong team this year. I hope to use all my experience to help them get good results during the races and make DRQ Motorsports a professional team,” he added.
13-year-old Arion Crosby first got into karting way back in ’16 when his family was still based in America, but stepped away from the sport up until they moved back to the Philippines over a year ago. That’s when he linked up with DRQ Motorsports and entered the season finale of the Rotax Max Challenge held at the Carmona Race Track where he scored a 2nd place finish in the Finals.
He will racing alongside teammate Paco Samson in the Junior Category of both the Rotax Max Challenge and Rok GP Cup in the Philippines. Other karters in DRQ Motorsports’ stable in 2023 are Miguel Abaño, lady karters Alex Santos and Shaniah Quiñones, and ’22 Golden Wheel Awards Driver of the Year Miguel Quiñones.
[Photos by Bong Boado and RacersPh]