Masami Hirosaka

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Masami Hirosaka (広坂正美 Hirosaka Masami?, born February 26, 1970, Kyoto, Japan)[1] is a Japanese radio controlled car (RC) driver who is considered to be the world's most successful with a record fourteen IFMAR World Championships in 1/12 scale electric, 1/10 scale Pan, 1/10 scale 2WD off road and 1/10 scale 4WD, all electric. He was considered to be one of the highest paid drivers in RC racing, until he retired from the activity. His last IFMAR race was the 2008 world championship in Thailand. His retirement ceremony was on May 3, 2009.

Early years[edit]

Masami was first brought into RC car racing at the age of seven by his father Masaaki, Yokomo's research and development employee and radio controlled car racer, when he brought him a Tamiya Lamborghini Countach. They raced together for four years until upon realizing Masami was the better driver, Masaaki retired from racing to focus on becoming his mechanic.[2]

In 1987, during a world championship round for the 4WD off-road at Romsey, England, Hirosaka arrived as a privateer with a Schumacher CAT, bar being provided power sources from HPI Japan. He had shown promise during practice and was brought into attention by Phil Booth, Schumacher's works driver[3] who referred him to Cecil Schumacher, who provided him a longer wheelbase version called the CAT XL, then unavailable in Japan and was raced by a majority of racers.[2] Despite being near-stock with much of the running gear added on from his old CAT, Hirosaka managed to win the title.[2][4] After the win, he was given numerous offers from sponsors before he ultimately settled with Yokomo.[2]

Later activities[edit]

Hirosaka currently races for Yokomo and Associated Electrics where he helps develop and design new cars and tests the resulting prototypes. Of all his IFMAR championship wins, only his first title was won driving cars from neither of these manufacturers. He was driving a Schumacher CAT XL.

For once or twice a week, he practices for 100 runs, a majority of these is done on-road to improve his reflexes.[5]

In a 1998 interview with Germany's KEIL DTM magazine, Hirosaka listed his other hobbies as computers and theater. His father who is now semi-retired, runs an RC car preparation service whilst doing contract work for Kyosho. In a 1999 interview with RCCA, he said that he has appeared several times on Japanese TV, and in a cartoon. He also says that he has several non-RC sponsors, such as Pioneer.

In his later career, he mentored teammate and compatriot Naoto Matsukura.[6]

Throughout his career, Masami has always raced in the green over white with pink flames (similar style to those found typically in hot rods), but since the 1990s, the pink colour has become less dominant part of the colour as he added the orange and red to form part of his current colour scheme.

Achievements[edit]

Throughout his competition career, Hirosaka has a total of 307 victories out of a total of 447 races, with 47 second place finishes and 27 third.

He has a total of 37 World Championship starts with 25 podium appearances including 14 championship titles and 35 A-main appearances.

Out of a total of 70 JMRCA All-Japan Championship appearances, he won 52 of those spanning 21 consecutive years (1986-2006), 67 of those are A-main appearances.[7]

In 1998, he is the only driver to achieve a electric car clean sweep at the JMRCA All-Japan Championship with five out of five wins in classes available for him to compete, a feat no longer possible since 2005 when the 1:10 Racing class was discontinued.[8]

An article by Radio Controlled Car Action list him on the top spot as the greatest driver of all time[9]

Complete results[edit]

IFMAR Worlds[edit]

Year Result Class Venue Entrant Car Motor ESC Transmitter
1986 16 1:12 EP Track Las Vegas
1987 8 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Romsey Associated RC10 HPI KO Propo
1987 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Romsey Schumacher CAT XL HPI KO Propo
1988 1 1:12 EP Track Baarn Yokomo Associated RC12L Reedy Novak T1 KO Propo
1988 1 1:10 EP Off-road 2WD St Ives Yokomo Associated RC10 Reedy KO Propo
1988 1 1:10 EP Off-road 4WD St Ives Yokomo Yokomo YZ-870C Reedy KO Propo
1990 2 1:12 EP Track Singapore Yokomo Associated RC12L Reedy KO Propo
1991 1 1:10 EP Off-road 2WD Michigan Yokomo Associated RC10L Reedy Novak 410-HPc KO Propo
1992 3 1:12 EP Track Michigan Yokomo Associated RC12LW Reedy KO Propo
1993 1 1:10 EP Off-road 4WD Basildon Yokomo Yokomo YZ-10 Works '93 Reedy Novak 410-HPc KO Propo
1994 1 1:10 PRO 10 Paris Yokomo Yokomo Reedy KO Propo
1994 1 1:12 EP Track Paris Yokomo Associated RC12LS Reedy KO Propo
1996 1 1:12 EP Track California Yokomo Associated RC12LC Reedy KO Propo
1997 3 1:10 EP Off-road 2WD Pomona Associated RC10L Yokomo Reedy KO Propo
1997 1 1:10 EP Off-road 2WD Pomona Yokomo Yokomo Reedy KO Propo
1999 1 1:10 EP Off-road 2WD Rauma Yokomo Associated RC10L Reedy KO Propo
1998 2 1:12 EP Track Newcastle Yokomo Associated RC12L3 Reedy KO Propo
2000 1 1:12 EP Track Tsukuba Yokomo Associated RC12L3 Reedy KO Propo
2000 1 1:10 PRO 10 Tsukuba Yokomo Yokomo Reedy KO Propo
2002 1 1:12 EP Track Krugersdorp Yokomo Yokomo 12LY Reedy KO Propo
2004 1 1:12 EP Track Florida Yokomo Associated RC12L4 Reedy KO Propo

JMRCA All-Japan Championship results[edit]

Year Result Class Venue Entrant Car Motor
1982 14 1:12 EP Racing
1983 3 1:12 EP Racing
1984 17 1:12 EP Racing
1985 2 1:12 EP Racing
1986 1 1:12 EP Racing Komazawa Olympic Park
1987 1 1:12 EP Racing Kawasaki Racecourse
1987 2[N 1] 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD
1988 1:12 EP Racing
1989 1 1:12 EP Racing
1990 1 1:12 EP Racing Yokota Hobby
1 1:12 EP Racing
1992 1 1:12 EP Racing Yokota Hobby
1994 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yokomo Yokomo Nosram
2008 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yokomo Yokomo Nosram
2008 7 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yokomo Yokomo Nosram
2011 1 1:12 EP Racing Yokomo Yokomo Nosram
2011 1 1:10 EP Touring Super Expert Yokomo Yokomo Nosram
2011 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yokomo Yokomo Nosram
2011 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yokomo Yokomo Nosram
2012 1 1:10 EP Touring Super Expert Yokomo Yokomo Yokomo
2012 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yokomo Yokomo B-Max 2 Yokomo
2013 2 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yokomo Yokomo B-Max 2 MR Yokomo R-Series
2013 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yokomo Yokomo Yokomo
2014 1 1:10 EP Touring Super Expert Yokomo Yokomo Yokomo
2014 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yokomo Yokomo Yokomo
1995 1 1:12 EP Racing
1996 1 1:12 EP Racing
1997 1 1:12 EP Racing
1998 1 1:12 EP Racing
1999 1 1:12 EP Racing
2004 1 1:12 EP Racing Hakusan Arena
2005 1 1:12 EP Racing Hakusan Arena Yokomo Yokomo
2006 3 1:10 EP Touring Open Yokomo Yokomo
2006 63 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yokomo Yokomo
2006 11 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yokomo Yokomo
2007 1 1:12 EP Racing Yokomo Associated Nosram
2007 24 1:10 EP Touring Super Expert Yokomo Yokomo Nosram
2007 5 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yokomo Yokomo Nosram
2007 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yokomo Yokomo Nosram
2008 1 1:12 EP Racing Yokomo Associated Nosram
2008 1 1:10 EP Touring Super Expert Yatabe Arena Yokomo Yokomo Nosram

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Won by invited driver Gil Losi, Jr. but awarded to Hirosaka per rules.

References[edit]

External links[edit]