Nobushige Fukuda

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Nobushige Fukuda

Nobushige Fukuda (??/??/19?? - September 13, 2015) was a racing driver from Hokkaidō Prefecture, Japan. He drove for Parma Corse, Grand Travaux Inutiles, and Melrose Racing Team in the Rejects of LFS. He is known for his smooth and consistent driving style.

History

Fukuda started his single-seater career in the All-Japan Formula 3 Championship in 2008. He competed there for three years, winning the championship in his final season. In 2009 and 2010 he complimented his F3 programme as a co-driver in Super GT. After starting his first year at Endless Nissan in the GT300 class, he moved up to GT500 with ENEOS Toyota Team LeMans.

In 2011, he progressed to Formula Nippon with Petronas Team TOM'S, and managed a highest championship finish of 3rd in 2012.

In 2014, he switched to F1 Rejects Big Car Championship team Scuderia Alitalia with backing from Toyota. When the series collapsed, he went became a tester for Parma Corse, Alitalia's B-team, at the revived Rejects of LFS. Soon he replaced Stefan Kuntz at rival team Grands Travaux Inutiles while the German driver was on suspension for causing multiple incidents at the 2014 South City sprint race. GTI were impressed with his driving and decided to drop Kuntz permanently in favour of Fukuda.

With Parma Corse electing to run former F2RWRS driver Marco Bizzarri along with promising rookie Marcel Agyemang-Badu, he instead remained at Grands Travaux Inutiles for another year. From Fern Bay onwards, he moved to Melrose Racing Team.

Death

At the 2015 Rejects of LFS Kyoto Ring feature race, the penultimate race of the season, held on September 13, 2015, Fukuda spun out at lap 20 and failed to rejoining the track until 2 laps later, where, he was struck by Tristan Jung from behind, resulting in Fukuda's car crashing before his car landed upside down, before Tanner Jason struck him afterwards, in which Fukuda's car flew several feet near the nearby Cromo advertising hoarding (Fukuda's head reportedly smashed the hoarding), before landing back on the ground, upside down, with damaged wings. Fukuda was extricated from his car by the Kyoto Ring marshalls and airlifted to the nearby hospital for his injuries. It was later reported that he have died from the accident after being pronounced dead on arrival. He was 27 years old.

Reactions and investigation

Following those incidents, the following Nippon Super 300 race was shortened to 200 kilometers and teams run tribute liveries for the race. The engines for those races will be less powerful for safety reasons.

The series organizers investigated Jason and later, Jung following the incident. It later came to conclusion that both drivers ignored yellow flags. Jason and Jung were found guilty of "dangerous driving that leads to a fatal accident" and were banned from the series, each for different timespan (Jason for life, Jung for one year - initially two prior to appeal) and both were disqualified from the standings and retroactively from the races (Jung's constructor points for his team Tarantino Autosport were later reinstated upon appeal). Furthermore, both drivers have their F1RWRS license revoked and faced serious fines. Jason retired from motorsport immediately following the judgement, cancelling his role in the Indianapolis 800 non-championship race and Aeroracing Engineering threatened to withdrew from the series, while Jung successfully appealed the sanctions.

Results

Rejects of LFS

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 DC Pts
2014 Grands Travaux Inutiles Scaven S11B Judd 3.0 V8 BLA
FEA
BLA
SPR
SOU
FEA
SOU
SPR
FER
FEA
15
FER
SPR
3
KYO
FEA
11
KYO
SPR
17
WES
FEA
7
WES
SPR
10
AST
FEA
15
AST
SPR
4
19th 3
2015 Grands Travaux Inutiles Scaven S15 Trabant-Zytek 3.0 V8 BLA
HEA
6
BLA
FEA
13
WES
HEA
7
WES
FEA
9
34th 1
Melrose Racing Team Scaven S15 BMW-Zytek 3.0 V8 FER
HEA
4
FER
FEA
Ret
SOU
HEA
EX
SOU
FEA
EX
AST
HEA
13
AST
FEA
DNQ
KYO
HEA
10
KYO
FEA
Ret
KYO
300

F1 Rejects Big Car Championship

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 DC Pts
2014 Virgin Inter Corse CLY
2
3rd 16
Scuderia Alitalia SOM
Ret
ELB
C
VAT
C
AUL
C
GER
C
ENG
C
SCO
C
USA
C
AUS
C
VAN
C
  • * Season in progress

Links

Driver profile on Scuderia Alitalia official website