Aug 18, 2001
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By David Swarts<BR><BR>During the March 4 Formula USA event at Daytona International Speedway, there was a new face among the crowd of racers. Toshiyuki Arakaki and his Kenz/J Trust Suzuki GSX-R1000 were surrounded by a virtual army of team members and umbrella girls/models. Due to the language barrier, the most that we could discover about Arakaki was that he was a former 500cc Grand Prix rider. <BR><BR>Arakaki qualified 11th for the Unlimited Superbike race at 1:55.287, well behind Shawn Higbee's record-breaking pole time of 1:52.941. In the race, Arakaki shot to the front and passed, for an instant, leader and eventual race winner Grant Lopez. But Arakaki immediately crashed out of the wet race and the second Unlimited Superbike race was canceled due to darkness. <BR><BR>Apparently, Arakaki is much better racer than his Daytona results indicated. Arakaki and teammate Keiichi Kitagawa rode a Kenz/J Trust Formula Xtreme Suzuki GSX-R1000 to fifth overall and the class win in the Suzuka 8-hour August 5. <BR>