Tomo Kazama

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Tomo Kazama (born 24 July 1997 in Mogami, Japan) is a Japanese racing driver who currently competes in the Formula 1 Rejects World Race Series, driving for Kamaha. She is one of the most successful drivers of the RWRS feeder series, becoming the first driver to take more than one round win in F3RWRS and won the first championship of that series before winning F2RWRS. Kazama is also known for being mentored by Kay Lon.

Early Career

Kazama inherented her joy of motorsport from her father, who is furiously in love with GT racing, and decided to try racing herself after her family traveled to Sportsland SUGO in 2006 to see Yuji Tachikawa and former F1 driver Toranosuke Takagi take a glorious win live. Her old-fashioned family was against this, however, she did not take no for an answer and sneaked out to do races on a local karting track. She proved herself to be a talent which allowed her to at least convince her father, who sponsored her career secretly. Sadly, her father lost his job as part of economical damage caused to his company by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake. That led to him not being able to support his daughter's plans. Fortune was in her favour with her dad winning a journey to the 2011 F1RWRS Chinese Grand Prix for his entire family in a raffle by Nissan. The second part of this prize was a lap around the track with a car by Jones Racing on the day after the race. Her father was supposed to do that lap but due to food poisoning he was not able to do anything, let alone steer a car. After much begging, the team let Tomo do that lap.

Despite never having driven anything close to a car, let alone a racing car, Kazama managed to not only understand it and keep it running but actually complete the lap. After taking Turn 14 like any professional race car driver would, Chris Dagnall saw at some talent in her which is why the 1991 F1 World Champion suggested to her coming to Europe in order to build a career. She did that and her family followed her. In her debut season, she made fourth place in the 2012 Rotax Junior Max National Championship. During that season, she was invited by Dagnall to celebrate his first win of the 2012 season. On that party she met Kay Lon, which she became close with very soon. After her fourth place, her career was sent into turmoil again, her family moved to infamous Swiss city St. Moritz. After overcoming his depression after losing his F1RWRS title, Lon helped Kazama into a seat in the Austrian Formula 3 Cup, where she finished the 2013 season in seventh place, losing points because of a (new-found) aggressive style.

F3RWRS Career

Despite trying herself to finance an entry in the Formula BMW Talent Cup, Kay Lon sought a contract with a F3RWRS team. Pemberton Prospec Racing willingly took her up, having their interest drawn by her offensive driving style. After having an unimpressive first round at Adalaide, Kazama took her first F3RWRS pole at Laguna Seca, becoming the round winner there. At the following event, Kazama became the first driver to win two rounds, taking the championship lead. Despite being able to take three round wins, she went into the season finale behind her team mate Michael Cameron. With a rather mature drive, Kazama took pole and a podium finish afterwards, winning the championship with two points advantage to surprise contender Terry Hawkin.

F2RWRS Career

After winning the 2014 F3RWRS title, she was offered a contract by Aston Martin to drive for their works team in the Formula 2 Rejects World Race Series for 2015. Eager to give herself a new challenge, Kazama moved to the series for 2015. Before leaving her old team, she shared a car with her fellow student Du Lei in the 2014 F1RWRS Luxembourg Grand Prix.

Tomo Kazama impressed during her F2RWRS with very consistent driving, leaving her team mates (Micko Glotch and Tommy Nash) in the dust. She won the championship despite being banned from the season finale before being hired by Kamaha for a two-year F1RWRS contract.

Personal Life

Kazama is currently single, although has given hints at having at least an affair with Kay Lon. During the off-season or longer breaks, she lives with her family in St. Moritz. Her parents are Reiichi and Asako Kazama, who are currently working in a luxury restaurant in the outskirts of said city.

Aside from Kay Lon, she is also a fan of both Toranosuke Takagi and Lewis Hamilton. Her helmet design is inspired by Takagi's F1 helmet design. Kazama speaks five languages: Japanese and English fluently, and Swiss German, German and Italian with a basic knowledge.