An employee of Ralliart Inc., the Japanese first started off-road racing in 1979. He accumulated impressive results in domestic rallies before switching to international events.
Masuoka attempted the Paris-Dakar for the first time in 1987. In 1990, he claimed an impressive T2 category win (10th overall). After proving that he can handle the Dakar, he went on to finish fourth overall in 1994 and repeated the same position in both 1997 and 1998. He took sixth overall in both 1999 and 2000, so steadily building a magnificent record in the legendary African classic.
In November 2000 Masuoka attended the Baja 2000, the most famous and toughest off-road event organised in North America. This off-road event held in Baja California peninsula is far removed from its European counterparts - competitors drive their machines over 2,500kms non-stop!
Masuoka teamed up with three American drivers to cross the Baja California peninsula in a production-based Mitsubishi Montero Sport/Challenger. He and his team-mates succeeded in taking the Montero Sport/Challenger to victory in class 3I, completing the race in a little more than 55 hours, an incredible achievement considering that many doubted they would even finish on their first participation in the Baja.
The challenge provided Masuoka with valuable experience for his attempt at the 2001 Dakar in which he finished second overall after a controversial finish. In the exciting 2002 Dakar, Hiroshi Masuoka maintained a winning pace and stayed on top for 12 straight days to take his first overall victory at his 15th attempt.
In the same year, he entered the Morocco Rally where he finished second overall. Impressive results and his growing popularity make him one of the top rally drivers in the world. Mitsubishi driver Hiroshi Masuoka proudly represents Japan in the world of off-road racing.