Last month, I put out the call for questions to ask Maaya Orido – the 20-year-old daughter of Japanese motorsport personality Manabu ‘Max’ Orido, and someone just starting out in their racing career. We had some great questions submitted, and over the course of this post Maaya will answer a whole bunch of them.
Before we get into those, let me give you a little background on the interview, which happened at Orido’s ‘130R Yokohama’ shop. I’d been meaning to do a proper tour of this place for quite some time, as it’s unique and very cool.
It might look like a space for Orido to store and work on his cars (and bikes), but its main purpose is a training facility. Here, Orido offers one-on-one tuition for people wanting to perfect their race driving skills, via a couple of simulator rigs he has set up.
Orido also runs his Ridox brand from this building, and with a real man cave vibe going on it’s nothing short of a dream space.
Throughout the course of this story you’ll be seeing Max Orido’s cars, including his Supra collection and Lamborghini Diablo, as well as a few other toys he has lying around.
Right, let’s get on with the interview…
Q: Mario Quivers: What was it like growing up as the daughter of someone that many would consider a legend? And with that, what was it like learning driving skills from someone with so much history in motorsports?
Maaya: Growing up as the daughter of Max Orido was nothing special for me. My dad has been teaching me driving skills from the time I got my driver’s license two years ago; he always gives me advice, but he also gives me positive feedback when we go for a drive. I’ve just started driving manual cars, and the only thing he said the first time out was “Just drive a lot, and you will get it,”. So, I believe his word and I am practicing now.
Q: thathellastockusdm3rdgenyaris: If you were given unlimited funds but could only modify a kei car, what would you modify and why?
Maaya: I don’t have experience driving kei cars, but if I had one it would definitely need to be made safe.
Q: karim: How is being the daughter of Mr. Orido influencing your life?
Maaya: I am lucky that I get a lot of chances to see and drive many different cars. I am sure that being car lover is something influenced by my dad.
Q: Atari: Do you want to be a race car driver? If yes, which professional series do you want to race in? Whatever the answer, I will definitely support you.
Maaya: Thank you, and yes. The 86 race [one-make series] is one of my goals now.
Q: Cody Martinez: You’ve been around both professional grip racing and drifting for the majority of your life, do you have a preference between the two?
Maaya: I like both of them actually. Drifting is a thrill and kind of fun to watch. Racing is just so cool; I like the sound of cars when I go to the circuit.
Q: Jay Soh Tsu Chung: What do you think about the female representation in the world of motorsports?
Maaya: A lot of people think motorsports is a male thing, and I once thought like that too. But I’ve seen many female street drivers lately, and they are so cool. In the future, I want to be someone who spreads the fun of cars to everyone in the world.
Q: Eko Puji Pramono Wicaksono: Are there any other things you have an interest in besides cars and the motorsport scene?
Maaya: Beside cars and motorsports, I want to study more about beauty.
Q: Urbanized Dreams: I have a two-year-old daughter that I’d like to get into cars. How did your father Orido get you interested in cars? Did he push the idea of cars by spending time together around cars with you, or did you grow to love cars on your own?
Maaya: My dad didn’t push me into cars at all, but I’ve watched a lot of cars and driving with him since I was very young. I gradually started to like cars… I think.
Q: Zamil Syaheer: With declining interest in the Japanese motorsports/tuning scene from the younger generation, what do you think it will take to gain interest from this age group? And do you see yourself as a role model to bring more youth into the car scene?
Maaya: One thing I could do to gain interest is use social media. I have an Instagram account where I post pictures with cars, and I want to make this account more active. I’d like to be able to inspire people to go for a drive and get interested in cars. I’m not a role model yet, but I’d like to be one in the future.
Q: Gab: Do you know why Best Motoring videos always have a leopard girl? What’s the deal with that?
Maaya: I want to know why too!
Q: Zeus Edwards: Is there a passion within you to take driving to another level – a level where only you can understand and develop your own unique style and creation in the pursuit of innovation? And are you willing to embrace the change in the car scene with electric cars?
Maaya: I have a lot of chances to learn driving skills from my dad, so I need to use those opportunities. I think electric cars will be amazing [for the car scene].
Q: Syamri: What is your current daily car?
Maaya: I drive an 86 manual. I want to drive well with a manual car.
Q: Alain: What kind of motorsport do you enjoy the most? Time attack? Door to door? Drift? Drag?
Maaya: Time attack is cool, but drift is enjoyable for me to watch as well.
Q: Jezzafool: The world always seems to follow Japanese automotive trends, does you see modifying and racing electric cars becoming popular?
Maaya: It is true, I think. I think electric cars will be popular in the future, but for now I want to focus on driving a regular manual car.
Q: Andy: Do you have as much passion for the Supra as your dad does?
Maaya: I think the Supra is so cool. I don’t have much confidence with driving yet, but definitely in the future I’d like to drive an 80 Supra.
Q: Mace: Does your dad tell you not to date drifters?
Maaya: No, he doesn’t say anything about it. But if it happened, they better be a good driver!
Q: Ali Sina: Do you plan on becoming a professional drifter like your father was in the early 2000s? If so, what would be your car of choice be and why?
Maaya: I don’t have much skill driving manual yet, so drifting will be my next step. It would be amazing if I could drive 80 Supra or 86.
Q: George: Your dad might be one of the most successful drifters, but how does he play the role of a dad?
Maaya: He was pretty busy when I was a child, but we have a common hobby (motorsports) so we enjoy our time now. He taught me to “be kind” and “don’t care what other people think – do what you want to do.”
Q: Alwin: Will you show up in more Hot Version episodes? (I saw you make an appearance on the most recent 86 segments)
Maaya: I am not sure yet, but if there is a chance, I would love to do something again.
Q: Truthworldwide: Worst wreck you’ve ever had, and what did you learn from it?
Maaya: I haven’t had wreck experience; I live safe.
Q: Jiji: What was the first car you learned to drive in, and as of now what is your dream car?
Maaya: It was an 86; I remember I was so nervous to drive, but my dad let me use it. My dream car is a white 80 Supra.
Q: Nato L: Did you know your dad was cool or did he (or one of his friends) have to tell you he was cool?
Maaya: I didn’t know he was that popular, or even known in other countries until I got into cars. But after I made my Instagram account, I realized that he’s well known as a professional racer/drifter all over the world. I think people have a lot of images of my dad, so they know what he is like – he loves cars so much.
Q: phantom2468: Are you focused on just one or multiple disciplines of racing? What vehicle do you think would fit your driving style as you learn from your father?
Maaya: I am focused on racing for now, but of course drifting is a very attractive thing. Might be an 86 or Supra – they are both so cute and cool.
Q: Alex Zaharia: What’s the most important thing you have learned from your father?
Maaya: To not be afraid [about driving].
Q: Michael Tan: As a member of the Orido family, what is the most memorable motorsport/automotive experience you can remember?
Maaya: I remember going to cheer my dad on at the circuit since I was very young. We still go to the circuit to cheer him, so I can’t choose one moment. One of my best car memories was going on a trip to the US, and dad drove across the states. I want to go to the US and drive like he did.
Q: Lucien Bouchoum: Since your father is still racing in Super GT and Super Taikyu, do you two want (and plan) to race against each other? Or perhaps racing with him as a father/daughter combination?
Maaya: I can’t think about it yet because I know how competitive he is – in a good way! But I want to do something with him through cars.
Q: Kimchiwarui: Given you are having both actual car and sim training, would you recommend a full sim training given that majority of the pros do it?
Maaya: I practice on a simulator at 130R Yokohama. It’s so real and my dad coaches me as well; I always enjoy practicing with it.
Q: Fletcher Chan: What does driving and cars mean to you? What made you interested in this passion that so many of us share? What kind of feelings are invoked in you when you drive?
Maaya: I really enjoy driving at night. I usually ask my friends to drive with me, and I think they also enjoy it.
Q: Michael Tung: What are some of your goals? Do you want to be a champion? Obviously, the lack of youth joining the car world is a major issue, so what are some paths to solving that? Is that something you’re interested in focusing on?
Maaya: I want people to know my name, so I use Instagram to spread it to the world. Then I think I can bring more women and young people into motorsports. Social media opens up a lot of opportunities, and I need to use it to grow interest in motorsports. The 86 race [series] is my goal for now. So, I have to practice a lot and I need my dad to be my coach. I want to try drifting in the future, but I need to reach my current goal first.
Again, thank you to all that submitted questions, but most of all, thank you to Maaya for taking the time to talk to us and to Orido himself for opening up the doors at 130R Yokohama. Hopefully we can catch up with the Oridos soon at one of their many fun day outs at the track.
Dino Dalle Carbonare