Kei Cozzolino (Ichigaya, Shinjuku, Tokyo, November 9, 1987) is Japanese-born Italian racing driver who races under an Italian licence. He competed in the World Touring Car Championship at the 2012 Guia Race of Macau.
Cozzolino started karting at the age of 9. He competed and won in various competitions in classes in Japan and around the world. His karting career ended in 2005 when he switched to racing cars.
In 2006 Cozzolino made his debut in auto racing. He made his debut in the Formula Toyota series. The Italian driver made his debut during the second round of the championship at Sendai Hi-Land Raceway. Cozzolino finished tenth out of eleven finishers. In 2007 he competed in the Formula Challenge Japan and the Formula Toyota classes. In the Formula Challenge Japan, supported by Nissan, Toyota and Honda, Cozzolino won one race. All the drivers whom entered both the Formula Toyota and Formula Challenge Japan series were supported by Toyota. This was to promote the Formula Challenge Japan as a replacement of the Formula Toyota after the series disbandment. In the final season of the Formula Toyota, Cozzolino won the title. Cozzolino was strong all season long, but Keisuke Kunimoto had the lead before the final round of the season. At the final round of the season at Fuji International Speedway Cozzolino qualified second and Kunimoto sixth. After a strong race Cozzolino won the race, KyoYu did not finish the race, thus the championship was decided in Cozzolino's favour.
After his 2007 Formula Toyota championship the young driver graduated to the All-Japan Formula Three Championship driving Now Motor Sport in a Dallara F308. As a result of winning the championship Cozzolino tested for the Toyota Tom's Formula Nippon factory team. In his debut year in Formula 3 the young Italian achieved four podium finishes and a ninth place in the championship. He also participated in the 2008 Macau Grand Prix Formula Three where he finished fifteenth. For the 2009 season Cozzolino switched to the only Honda powered entry Toda Racing. He achieved his first win in Formula Three during the round at Twin Ring Motegi. But with the Toyota Tom's team dominating the championship Cozzolino was best of the rest finishing fourth.
For the 2010 season Cozzolino graduated to the Formula Nippon, the highest racing class in Japan. Cozzolino participated in a Toyota powered Swift FN09 entered by Team LeMans. His best finish was a fourth place at Autopolis. During the non-championship Fuji Sprint Cup the Italian driver achieved his first pole-position. The driver eventually finished tenth in the standings.
World Touring Car Championship
After more than a year without racing Cozzolino was announced as a replacement of Alberto Cerqui for the Guia Race of Macau. 29 drivers attempted to qualify for the event of which 23 could start the race, Cozzolino qualified 22nd. In the first race the Italian driver had an accident after seven laps but he was qualified 20th. In the second race he was the last running driver in 19th place 2 laps behind the winning driver.
In 2019, driving a Ferrari 488 GT3 of the privately run CAR GUY team, Cozzolino qualified for the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans. Cozzolino, driver-owner Takeshi Kimura and James Calado won all four legs of the 2018–19 Asian Le Mans Series.
Complete Formula Nippon results
Complete World Touring Car Championship results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
|2012||ROAL Motorsport||BMW 320 TC||ITA1||ITA2||ESP1||ESP2||MAR1||MAR2||SVK1||SVK2||HUN1||HUN2||AUT1||AUT2||POR1||POR2||BRA1||BRA2||USA1||USA2||JPN1||JPN2||CHN1||CHN2||MAC1
† — Cozzolino did not finish the race, but was classified as he completed over 90% of the race distance.
Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results
|2019||Car Guy Racing|| Takeshi Kimura
|Ferrari 488 GTE||GTE