Kei Cozzolino targets podium at home race
Japanese-born Kei Cozzolino is targeting a home podium at the WEC 6 Hours of Fuji in just a few weeks’ time.
Ex-Toyota junior driver Cozzolino was raised in Japan and came through the junior ranks competing in Formula Toyota, Formula Three and Formula Nippon where he raced against well-known WEC Champions, André Lotterer and Loïc Duval.
The MR Racing driver, who is teamed up with Olivier Beretta and Motoaki Ishikawa, finished third in LMGTE Am at the WEC Season 8 opener. Born to a Japanese mother and an Italian father, Cozzolino knows Fuji Speedway extremely well and says he could “race there blindfolded”.
He is especially looking forward to tackling his home track with the Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.
“It will be my first time in a GTE car with Michelin Confidential tyres at Fuji, so it will be quite new from that respect,” explained 31-year-old Cozzolino. “In the evolution Ferrari, which is pretty much the Pro car from last year, it will be really special – and fast too.”
The Japanese Italian family background will make Fuji one of his biggest races of the year and it is one which will see plenty of home support for the Tokyo-born driver.
“Racing in a Ferrari with my Italian ancestry is a bit of a dream,” explained Cozzolino. “There is a great vibe and the atmosphere is like a big family with lots of passion. It makes you feel at home. My father is crazy about racing and the person who really got me in to it so he will be in Fuji - and hopefully my mother too.”
Cozzolino concluded: “A lot of friends plus my wife will be there too - so it will be a great weekend off the track. Now all we have to do is make sure it’s a great weekend on-track too!”
Round 2 of FIA WEC Season 8, the 6 Hours of Fuji, will take place from 4-6 October.