Masanori Sekiya is a Japanese racing driver most famous for being the first Japanese driver to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which he accomplished in 1995.
Masanori Sekiya is a racing driver from Shizuoka Prefecture, 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 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 great sportscar race. He finished second overall in 1992 driving the Toyota TS010 with P.H. Raphanel and Kenny Acheson, with whom he shares his birthday, and he also came fourth in the 1993 edition. He competed in the JGTC until the 2000 season and now work as team manager for the Super GT division of the Toyota Team TOM'S and also run 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.