|First race||South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||March 1, 1992||Race results|
|Last race||European Grand Prix||Jerez||October 26, 1997||Race results|
The best grand prix driver to come out of Japan, Ukyo looked out of his depth in Formula One, but some stirring drives for Tyrrell in 1994, where he usually had the measure of his team-mate Mark Blundell, gave the lie to that. Ukyo won junior single-seater titles in Japan in 1983-84 and then came to Europe to race in Formule Renault and Formula Three in 1986 and 1987.
He went back to Japan to race in Formula 3000 in 1988, and won the title in 1991. His Formula One debut came with Larrousse in 1992, and he showed well against Bertrand Gachot. A terrible year followed, however, and many thought his tiny physique would mean that he would never be strong enough to drive a modern Formula One car.
However, in 1994 it became clear that a strong talent and speed were allied to his sunny personality. Ukyo had a thin season in 1995, failing to score a single point as Tyrrell struggled to keep up with the richer teams. He also had a huge accident in Portugal. Sadly, 1996 was no better, and he moved on to Minardi for 1997 before quitting at the end of the year to go mountain climbing with the occasional race at Le Mans.
Reproduced from The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Formula One published by Carlton Books