USER STORY

A Life with Yamaha

Enthusiastic about kart racing, because it moves me

Ms. Miki Aoki (Aichi Prefecture)

Ms. Miki Aoki developed her skills as a kart racer while balancing racing with study during her junior high school and high school days. Ms. Aoki, who is not only cheerful but also ambitious, aiming to "be stronger and drive faster," is a sort-of idol in the world of kart racing. With the benefit of advice from Mr. Hideki Aoki, her father, who has abundant experience in kart racing, she aims to win the national kart race at the SL Kart Meeting.

A Father's Promise

I drove a kart for the first time about six years ago when I went to Suzuka Circuit for a leisure outing with my family, just before my graduation from elementary school. Without any particular plan, I had a ride in a rental kart, and my father said that he would buy me a racing kart if I could beat the standard time. I tried it five or six times, and I successfully beat the target time.

What surprised me the first time I rode in a racing kart was the engine sound. It was totally different from the sound of a rental kart, and I was impressed with the real racing kart. On the other hand, I was not confused by the sense of speed because I had got used to it when I had skied and snowboarded.

After going out for practice drives just a few times, I participated in a kart race, and that was only the fourth time I had driven the kart. I was able to compete so well, even in my first race, that I was intoxicated with success and concluded that I was great and might even be a genius. In fact, I was driving among racers from lower classes who were sharing the track! (haha). It was my misunderstanding, but I fell in love with kart racing.

Colleagues from various generations

I feel extremely nervous before a race. I was once called just a top practice racer, because I did well during practice but failed in the finals. About one year ago, I started to achieve good results. By observing fast racers while driving behind them, and by asking them to drive with me, I studied hard to improve my skills. I also watch the videos shot by my mother and I look at the driving data analyzed by my father to review my performance. Actually, the review meetings take only five minutes or so (haha).

The three of us go to a racing circuit almost every weekend. However early it is in the morning, all of us gather immediately as soon as someone says, "I'm loading the kart onto the car." I guess my family got closer after I started kart racing. Meanwhile, people of various ages, up to their 60s, drive karts. Thanks to kart racing, I have friends in other generations whom I would have no opportunity to meet in ordinary circumstances. Yamaha's kart engines have broadened my world. When I finished second in the ladies' class of the SL national race last autumn, my colleagues cheered me so much. I was so happy, and made up my mind to return the favor to them someday.

As a female college student racer

As I wanted to continue kart racing even after starting college, I studied hard to get into the college of my choice near my home town. I think I was able to focus well on studying for the exams, thanks to kart racing. Even during an interview for the entrance exam, I talked about how great kart racing is. My college life is starting this spring, just as I wished. I will balance kart racing with study, and win the national SL Kart Meeting race this year.

(*) SL stands for Sports & Leisure. It is the most popular kart race in Japan, participated in by vehicles equipped with Yamaha "KT100" engines alone, to enable participants to compete at a low cost and under identical conditions. The annual SL Kart Meeting national race is the major target for participants.

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Racing kart engine "KT100"
Racing karts are used by most of the top four-wheel racers in motorsports, including the majority of drivers in that greatest of all races, F1, as a method to get familiar with racing and develop their skills during their early years. Manufacturing "KT series" competition racing engines as well as "MZ series" engines for leisure rental karts, Yamaha has worked to expand the base of motor sports for many years. In particular, KT100 is a popular model across various generations of people who enjoy kart racing, ranging from children to adults.

A Word from Yamaha Staff
We have further improved sailing stability and speed performance

Mr. Takashi Fujii, Yamaha Motor Powered Products Co., Ltd.

We offer a package of hardware (products) and software (races) to a wide range of customers, from those who enjoy the races as a hobby, to professional racing drivers. They are also precious products, giving opportunities to learn about the Yamaha brand to customers ranging from children (second grade) to seniors. Although our business scale is modest, expectations from our business connections and customers are very great. We want to provide as many people as possible with the joy of driving.