Log In

Shinji Nakano Edit Profile

race car driver

Nakano is the youngest-ever winner of the Hong Kong Kart Grand Prix in 1987.


After graduating to Japanese F3 in 1989 he enjoyed a season of European Formula Opel-Lotus in 1990 which yielded a win and two pole positions, and, more importantly, provided invaluable experience of European GP circuits which would stand him in good stead when he became Olivier Panis' teammate at Prost for 1997.

Naturally, the critics viewed him simply as the stooge of engine supplier Mugen-Honda, but the speed with which he matched Panis' pre-season testing pace augured well for his future. That season he scored points for sixth places at Montreal and the Hungaroring, before giving the lie to his critics by switching his bag of gold to a Minardi-Ford drive in 1998. This was scarcely any more fulfilling, however, and after missing out on a racing seat in 1999 he tested spasmodically for Jordan before switching to Champcars in 2000.


Shinji Nakano made 56 starts from 2000 to 2002 with a best points finish of 17th in 2002 and a best race result of 4th at the 2002 Molson Indy Toronto. He also started 15th in the 2003 Indianapolis 500 for Beck Motorsports, finishing 14th. He competed in the 2006 and 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans races and returned to the event in 2011 with Oak Racing.