Taka Aono

Driver Profiles: Taka Aono

by Justin Banner

The first time I met Taka Aono was in 2010 at Road Atlanta, during my first event covering Formula Drift for my old stomping grounds, Drifting.com. There, I interviewed him on competition morning and despite working hard on his car, Taka still took the time to let me interview him. I have not and will not forget that day and that is why I choose him for my first Driver Profile. So, get to know Taka Aono a bit more and read along as he answered some questions and put some info down for his profile!

Taka Aono
Taka Aono, to this day, still does not know why he let me interview him. Maybe he felt sorry for the Rookie Reporter!

1. Profile Information

  • Name: Taka Aono
  • Birthplace: Nagano, Japan
  • Hometown: Gardena, CA
  • Age: OLD enough (41!)
Tough Guy Taka Aono
Despite the Tough Guy Look, Taka's a really nice guy!

2. Car Information

  •  Car Number: 86
  •  Sponsors: Nexen Tire, Megan Racing, Hasselgren Engineering,  Brian Crower, OS Giken, J-Blood, RS Watanabe wheel, Battle Version, Hiro's Auto Repaire, JSP, Pac Auto Body, V-LED
  •  Car (Year/Make/Model): 1985 Toyota Corolla GTS
  •  Drivetrain (Engine/Transmission/Rear End): Toyota  4AG Turbo/ Mazda Rx-7 Turbo II transmission/ Toyota 7.5 diff.
  •  Tires (Make/Model): Nexen N9000 235/40/17
  •  Wheels: RS Watanabe R-Type.
  •  Aero/Body Parts:  J-Blood
The Flying 86
The Famous "Flying 86" with its Pac Auto Body paint job.  Taka wouldn't want any other car or engine than the 4AGE that currently powers it.  Except, perhaps one with more torque, which he will hopefully get soon!
Taka Aono Number 86
There is no other number that best describes Taka Aono. He is the AE86 man!
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Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 5:49 AM
Great coverage as usual Justin! Always love your Formula Drift recaps and insight! It would be interesting to know if Taka is excited or not by the prospect of the new '86' that Toyota/Subaru/Scion is coming out with? I don't really know what a lot of the AE86 guys think.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 7:07 AM
Cool, a driver who works on his own car! I can think of plenty who couldn't even change their own radiator. Wonder what kind of engine would rev to 12000rpm and make 600ft/lbs of torque. I think would take a Chevy sized V8 to make 600ft/lbs naturally aspirated so he's gotta be talking something with big turbos. I've heard rumors of JZ engines revving that high overseas, idk about Toyota 4 bangers though. Mazworx can build SR20s to make that kind of power....for drag racing, who knows if it would hold up to drift use.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 7:11 AM
Awesome driver with great skill and always down to earth to help out.
Unfortunately, his sponsors are pure Chinese garbage. I hope things will change for the 2012 season.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 8:38 AM
Even though clean Corollas are hard to find nowadays (I overpaid for my old one), I still have a soft spot for one. These cars are fun to drive and dangerous too.
If I can find a shell with minimal rust and damage, it will be my next project.

I loved Taka Aono's car when he had Falken tire as his sponsors and full J-Blood kit all around.
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