Hideki Noda announces the 24 Heures du Mans as his end of his racing career
Racecar Driver, Hideki Noda will be racing at the 24 Heures du Mans from Kruse Schiller Motorsports, scheduled for June 12-13 and announces that this will be his last race in the 29 years of his career as a racecar driver.
“I did think about retiring from racing last year at age 40, with my challenge to the 24 Heures du Mans. However, we retired at 23 hours and 15 minutes, and decided to continue for another year, to make an another challenge at the 24 Heures du Mans.
I would like to deeply thank my Japanese sponsors we supported me at this time of a financial crisis. I would also like to thank the team and everyone around who helped me continue racing. I cannot forget to thank my fans, and cannot forget to thank my family, who supported me all these years and saw me through with my good times and bad times. I am deeply grateful that as a racing driver, I am able to end my career at one of the great race in car racing.
Since I started racing at age 13, my passion for it has never changed in my 29 years. I love to race deeply from my heart, and this feeling kept me in racing for this long. To be able to maneuver a race car is a great feeling, and loved the race circuit because it was where I was able to show my ability.
To be honest, I do want to continue racing and I have the confidence to do that. If it was only for myself, I do want and know that I can race for another 10 years until I am 50 years old. But now I have doubts in racing just for myself, and have come to this decision to retire.
Too many have supported me throughout my career, and because of each and everyone of them, I was able to fulfill my career as a racecar driver. I cannot express how happy I am to be able to race for this long period of time. I am proud to say that I am the Japanese driver who raced at different categories in racing the most. As the most experienced Japanese driver in racing history, I became to think that I should nurture young Japanese drivers, and that it would be my next challenge. Because I think of this in a 5-year to a 10-year span, I think now would be the best timing to retire and start my next challenge.
If I say I have regrets in racing, it would be a lie. I do not feel that I am incapable physically or mentally, and I still feel the urge to continue racing. I was supposed to retire last year. I did not do that and postponed that to this year. The 24 Heures du Mans will be my last, and whatever the result would be, the moment the race ends will be my start of my second career, to nurture and help the drivers of the next generation. I believe that this is the only way to pay back to the world of Motorsports, in which I dedicated my life to.
Although this would be my last race, I plan to do my very best. It is a big challenge to beat the factory teams, but I believe that we do have the potential to be on the podium. No one can predict the result of a 24 hour race, and I believe that anyone has the chance to win, if we all try our best. I thank you all once again and wish you all to cheer for my last race in my career.”