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 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. Hirosaka's peers have nicknamed him "Master Masami".[2] 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; a former motorcycle racer,[3] who finished 2nd at the 1971 Suzuka 6 Hours,[4] a research and development employee of ABC Hobby and later with Yokomo and radio controlled car racer and designer, 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[5] 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][6] After the win, he was given numerous offers from sponsors before he ultimately settled with Yokomo.[2]

Later activities[edit]

As well as driving for Yokomo and Associated Electrics where he helps develop and design new cars and tests the resulting prototypes, Hirosaka held a job as a sales engineer for Yokomo.[2] 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.[7]

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[8] and was the lead organizer of the 2015 IFMAR 1:10 Electric Off-Road World Championship[9]

Equipment[edit]

Throughout his career, Masami preferred to race with stick transmitters,[10] largely as when he began racing, Japanese branded wheel transmitters did not exist; he once experimented with wheels but felt sticks gave better car control.[11] Up until 1987, he used Futaba transmitter;[12] after that he switched to KO Propo which he used through his career. Under his arrangement with Yokomo, his car ran on Reedy motors, a subsidiary of Associated Electrics.

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]

Masami is R/C racing's equivalent of baseball's Lou Gehrig or basketball's Michael Jordan—a born natural.

Radio Control Car Action's Steve Pond on Masami.[13]

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.[14]

In 1998, he is one of two drivers to achieve an electric car clean sweep at the JMRCA All-Japan Championship, the only driver to achieve this more than once (also 1987, 1989 and 1992) and the only one to achieve five out of five wins in eligible classes, a feat no longer possible since 2005 when the 1:10 Racing class was discontinued.[15]

An article by Radio Control Car Action list him on the top spot as the five greatest driver of all-time in 2010[16] In the 2015 edition of the Top 10 best of all-time, he was beaten to the spot by Ryan Cavalieri.[17]

Listed in RCCA in its May issues as one of the 10 Best Drivers between 1989 up to 1992. When the readers ranking was introduced, he was ranked 5th in 1996, 2nd in 1998 and 3rd in 1999. Hirosaka is the only few non-US drivers to be honored and the only foreigner to regularly appear in the list.

Complete results[edit]

IFMAR Worlds[edit]

Year Result Class Venue Car Motor Source
1986 16 1:12 EP Track Las Vegas ABC KSC ALF 11 M&Y 480 RS
1987 8 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Romsey Associated RC10 HPI UNO
1987 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Romsey Schumacher CAT XL HPI UNO
1988 1 1:12 EP Track Baarn Associated RC12L Reedy
1989 1 1:10 EP Off-road 2WD St Ives Associated RC10 Reedy
1989 1 1:10 EP Off-road 4WD St Ives Yokomo YZ-870C Reedy
1990 2 1:12 EP Track Singapore Associated RC12L Reedy
1991 1 1:10 EP Off-road 2WD Michigan Associated RC10L Reedy
1991 2 1:10 EP Off-road 4WD Michigan Yokomo YZ-10 Works '93 Reedy
1992 3 1:12 EP Track Michigan Associated RC12LW Reedy
1993 4 1:10 EP Off-road 2WD Basildon Associated RC10L Reedy
1993 1 1:10 EP Off-road 4WD Basildon Yokomo YZ-10 Works '93 Reedy
1994 1 1:10 PRO 10 Yokomo Reedy
1994 3 1:12 EP Track Paris Associated RC12LS Reedy
1995 2 1:10 EP Off-road 2WD Associated RC10L Reedy
1995 3 1:10 EP Off-road 4WD Yokomo Reedy
1996 1 1:12 EP Track California Associated RC12LC Reedy
1996 1:10 PRO 10 California Reedy
1997 3 1:10 EP Off-road 2WD Pomona Associated RC10L Reedy
1997 1 1:10 EP Off-road 4WD Pomona Yokomo Reedy
1998 2 1:12 EP Track Newcastle Associated RC12L3 Reedy
1998 4 1:10 PRO 10 Newcastle Reedy
1999 1 1:10 EP Off-road 2WD Rauma Associated RC10L Reedy
1999 14 1:10 EP Off-road 4WD Rauma Yokomo Reedy
2000 1 1:12 EP Track Tsukuba Associated RC12L3 Reedy
2000 1 1:10 PRO 10 Tsukuba Yokomo Reedy
2000 3 1:10 ISTC Tsukuba Yokomo Reedy
2001 6 1:10 EP Off-road 2WD Associated RC10 Reedy
2001 5 1:10 EP Off-road 4WD Yokomo Reedy
2002 1 1:12 EP Track Krugersdorp Yokomo 12LY Reedy
2002 4 1:10 ISTC Krugersdorp Yokomo 12LY Reedy
2003 1:10 EP Off-road 2WD Associated RC10B4 Reedy
2003 1:10 EP Off-road 4WD Yokomo BX Reedy
2004 1 1:12 EP Track Florida Associated RC12L4 Reedy
2005 6 1:10 EP Off-road 2WD Associated RC10B4 Reedy
2005 5 1:10 EP Off-road 4WD Yokomo BX Reedy
2006 2 1:10 ISTC Yokomo orion
2007 4 1:10 EP Off-road 2WD Associated RC10B4 Reedy
2007 4 1:10 EP Off-road 4WD Yokomo BX Reedy
2008 3 1:10 ISTC Yokomo Nosram

JMRCA All-Japan Championship results[edit]

Year Result Class Venue Car Motor Source
1982 14 1:12 EP Racing Chukyo Racecourse ABC
1983 3 1:12 EP Racing Chukyo Racecourse ABC
1984 17 1:12 EP Racing Shinjuku NS Building ABC
1985 2 1:12 EP Racing Nagoya Racecourse ABC ALF-10
1986 1 1:12 EP Racing Komazawa Olympic Park ABC KSC ALF 11 M&Y 480 RS
1986 2 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Mobara Futaba Course Associated RC10
1986 20[18] 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Mobara Futaba Course Yokomo YZ-834B
1987 1 1:12 EP Racing Kawasaki Racecourse Associated RC12 HPI UNO
1987 2[N 1] 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yokohama Associated RC10 HPI UNO
1987 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yokohama Schumacher CAT XL HPI UNO
1988 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Associated RC10
1988 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yokomo YZ-870C
1989 1 1:12 EP Racing Associated RC12
1989 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yomiuriland Associated RC10GX
1989 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yomiuriland Yokomo YZ-870C
1990 1 1:12 EP Racing Yokota Hobby Associated RC12
1990 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yomiuriland Associated RC10
1990 2 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yomiuriland Yokomo YZ-870C
1991 1:12 EP Racing Yokota Hobby Associated RC12
1991 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yatabe Arena Associated RC10BX
1991 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yatabe Arena Yokomo YZ-10 Works '91
1992 1 1:12 EP Racing Yokota Hobby Associated RC12
1992 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Woody Dome Associated RC10
1992 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Woody Dome Yokomo
1993 1:12 EP Racing Associated RC12
1993 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yatabe Arena Associated RC10FX.S [19]
1993 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yatabe Arena Yokomo YZ-10 Works '93
1994 1 1:12 EP Racing Bellser Kit Associated RC12LS
1994 2 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Associated RC10 [20]
1994 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yatabe Arena Yokomo
1994 1 1:10 EP Racing Yokomo YRX-10 [21]
1995 1 1:12 EP Racing Bellser Kit Associated RC12LS
1995 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yatabe Arena Associated RC10B2 Reedy [22]
1995 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yatabe Arena Yokomo
1996 1 1:12 EP Racing Bellser Kit
1996 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Woody Dome Associated RC10
1996 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Woody Dome Yokomo
1996 1 1:10 EP Racing Yatabe Arena Yokomo
1996 5 1:10 EP Touring Expert Yatabe Arena Yokomo
1997 1 1:12 EP Racing
1997 2 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Woody Dome Associated RC10
1997 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Woody Dome Yokomo
1997 1 1:10 EP Racing Yokomo
1997 1 1:10 EP Touring Expert Yokomo
1998 1 1:12 EP Racing Yatabe Arena
1998 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yatabe Arena Associated RC10
1998 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yatabe Arena Yokomo
1998 1 1:10 EP Racing Kei Tune RS Yokomo
1998 1 1:10 EP Touring Expert Kawaba RC Plaza Yokomo
1999 1 1:12 EP Racing Kawaba RC Plaza
1999 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yatabe Arena Associated RC10
1999 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yatabe Arena Yokomo
1999 1 1:10 EP Racing Kei Tune RS Yokomo
1999 2 1:10 EP Touring Expert Yatabe Arena Yokomo
2000 1 1:10 EP Touring Expert Yatabe Arena Yokomo
2001 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yatabe Arena Associated RC10
2001 1 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yatabe Arena Yokomo
2001 1 1:10 EP Racing Kei Tune RS Yokomo
2001 1 1:10 EP Touring Expert Yatabe Arena Yokomo
2002 2 1:10 EP Off-Road 2WD Yatabe Arena Associated RC10
2002 1 1:10 EP Racing Yatabe Arena Yokomo
2002 1 1:10 EP Touring Expert Ichirino RC Plaza Yokomo
2003 1 1:10 EP Touring Expert Ichirino RC Plaza Yokomo
2004 1 1:12 EP Racing Yatabe Arena
2004 1 1:10 EP Touring Expert Kawaba RC Plaza Yokomo
2005 1 1:12 EP Racing Yatabe Arena Yokomo
2005 5 1:10 EP Touring Expert Kawaba RC Plaza Yokomo
2006 1 1:10 EP Touring Expert Yatabe Arena Yokomo
2006 8 1:10 EP Off-Road 4WD Yatabe Arena Yokomo
2007 2 1:12 EP Racing Yatabe Arena Associated Nosram
2007 3 1:10 EP Touring Super Expert Yatabe Arena Yokomo Nosram
2008 1 1:12 EP Racing Yatabe Arena Associated Nosram

Notes[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Top Ten Drivers". Radio Control Car Action. Air Age Media. May 1989. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Bacon, Bill (April 1992), "Masami Hirosaka: The Master Speaks", Radio Control Car Action: 24–25 
  3. ^ "廣坂物語". Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "プロフィール ひろさか". Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  5. ^ Team Yokomo Malaysia. "Team Yokomo Malaysia Blog". Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  6. ^ Filip M. Gieszczykiewicz. "FAQ for R/C electric off-road racing". Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  7. ^ Bacon, Bill (April 1992), "Masami Hirosaka: The Master Speaks", Radio Control Car Action: 26 
  8. ^ "Thailand unearths exciting new talent » Red RC – Events". Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  9. ^ p12, http://news.efra.ws/fileadmin/news/2015/10/2015%20%20Electric%20All%203%20Sections%20Minutes%20Final%20PW.pdf
  10. ^ "How To Get Into Hobby RC: Radios and Motors". Tested. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  11. ^ Masi, Frank (August 1994). "Sticking with the Stick". Radio Control Car Action. Air Age Media: 61. 
  12. ^ "廣坂物語". Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  13. ^ Pond, Steve (November 1990). "Masami's Yokomo". Radio Control Car Action. Air Age Media. 
  14. ^ XOOPS Cube. "RC Maniax - Masami's Report". Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "全日本選手権タイトルホルダー(電動カテゴリー)". Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  16. ^ "5 Best Racers of All Time". Radio Control Car Action. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  17. ^ "Fast Laps: Who Is the Best Driver Ever?". Radio Control Car Action. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  18. ^ "廣坂物語". Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  19. ^ "廣坂物語". hirosaka.jp. Retrieved 2016-07-05. 
  20. ^ "廣坂物語". hirosaka.jp. Retrieved 2016-07-05. 
  21. ^ "廣坂物語". hirosaka.jp. Retrieved 2016-07-05. 
  22. ^ "廣坂物語". hirosaka.jp. Retrieved 2016-07-05. 

External links[edit]