Masanori Sekiya

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Masanori Sekiya
Nationality Japan Japanese
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 1985 - 1990, 1992 - 1993, 1995 - 1997
Teams Tom's, Porsche Kremer Racing, Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing, SARD, Gulf Team Davidoff
Best finish 1st (1995)
Class wins 1 (1995)

Masanori Sekiya (関谷 正徳 Sekiya Masanori?, born 27 November 1949) is a racing car driver from Ikawa, Shizuoka, Japan, most famous for being the first Japanese driver to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in 1995.

Sekiya drove in single-seaters in his early career, contesting the Japanese Formula 3000 Championship and Formula Nippon from 1987 to 1993, mostly for the Leyton House team. He never achieved any victories, but finished 4th in the standings in 1988 and 1989, scoring three and four podiums, respectively.

A long-time works Toyota driver, Sekiya drove in the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship, All Japan Grand Touring Championship and Japanese Touring Car Championship, a series which he won in 1994, driving a Toyota Chaser for the Tom's team. He was also runner-up the following year.

As Sekiya is rather fond of Le Mans, in 1987, he got married in the town prior to the race. His best result in international sports car racing was winning the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, at the wheel of a McLaren F1 GTR for Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing. He became the first Japanese-born driver to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He was also fourth in the 1993 edition. He competed in the JGTC until the 2000 season and now works as team manager for the Super GT division of the Toyota Team TOM'S and also runs a racing school at Fuji Speedway. In 1998, Sekiya also appeared in a TV commercial in Japan driving a JZA80 Supra promoting its handling package.

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1985 Japan Tom's Team Japan Satoru Nakajima
Japan Kaoru Hoshino
Tom's 85C-L-Toyota C1 330 12th 12th
1986 Japan Tom's Co. Ltd. Japan Satoru Nakajima
United Kingdom Geoff Lees
Tom's (Dome) 86C-L-Toyota C1 105 DNF DNF
1987 Japan Toyota Team Tom's United Kingdom Tiff Needell
Japan Kaoru Hoshino
Toyota 87C-L C1 39 DNF DNF
1988 Japan Toyota Team Tom's United Kingdom Geoff Lees
Japan Kaoru Hoshino
Toyota 88C C1 351 12th 12th
1989 Germany Porsche Kremer Racing Japan Hideki Okada
South Africa George Fouché
Porsche 962CK6 C1 42 DNF DNF
1990 Japan Toyota Team Tom's United Kingdom Geoff Lees
Japan Hitoshi Ogawa
Toyota 90C-V C1 347 6th 6th
1992 Japan Toyota Team Tom's France Pierre-Henri Raphanel
United Kingdom Kenny Acheson
Toyota TS010 C1 346 2nd 2nd
1993 Japan Toyota Team Tom's United Kingdom Eddie Irvine
Japan Toshio Suzuki
Toyota TS010 C1 364 4th 4th
1995 United Kingdom Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing France Yannick Dalmas
Finland JJ Lehto
McLaren F1 GTR GT1 298 1st 1st
1996 Japan Team SARD Toyota Japan Hidetoshi Mitsusada
Japan Masami Kageyama
Toyota Supra LM GT1 205 DNF DNF
1997 United Kingdom Gulf Team Davidoff
United Kingdom GTC Racing
United Kingdom Ray Bellm
United Kingdom Andrew Gilbert-Scott
McLaren F1 GTR GT1 326 DNF DNF


Sporting positions
Preceded by
Masahiko Kageyama
Japanese Touring Car Championship
Champion

1994
Succeeded by
Steve Soper
Preceded by
Yannick Dalmas
Hurley Haywood
Mauro Baldi
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1995 with:
Yannick Dalmas
JJ Lehto
Succeeded by
Manuel Reuter
Davy Jones
Alexander Wurz

Sources[edit]