Two-time Super GT champion Manabu Orido has been appointed as the Executive Advisor of Lexus Team WedsSport Bandoh on Monday.
Orido re-unites with the team that he drove for in two stints of his legendary career, from 1997 to 1999, and from 2008 to 2010, winning the GT300 Drivers’ Championship with the Bandoh team in 1997 and 2009.
Orido, one of the most popular Super GT drivers of all-time in large part to his involvement in drift and time attack, as well as his involvement with the Best Motoring and Hot Version video car magazines, got his first full-time drive in the series in 1997.
He then went on to win the ’97 GT300 Championship with Hideo Fukuyama in the #19 RS-R Nissan Silvia S14, before switching in 1998 to their more familiar WedsSport Toyota Celica for the ’98 and ’99 campaigns.
Orido then spent the next eight seasons competing in GT500 for Toyota, before returning to GT300 with the Bandoh team in 2008 with their mid-engined Lexus IS 350 GT. In 2009, Orido won his second title, driving with Tatsuya Kataoka.
After the 2010 season when Bandoh moved up to GT500, Orido joined Team JLOC in 2011, for which he drove for seven seasons until the end of 2017.
Orido will work with the #19 WedsSport Advan LC500 crew, which will be piloted by young drivers Yuji Kunimoto and Kenta Yamashita – the latter of whom is taking part in his first full-time GT500 campaign. With his long relationship with Yokohama Rubber Company, Orido will also assist in tyre development as well – all of this on top of his new driving role in the Pirelli Super Taikyu Series with D’station Racing.
With Orido’s guidance, Lexus Team WedsSport Bandoh are committed to their goals of winning championships, delivering exciting racing to their fans, and never giving up on their dreams.