HINO ADDS TO ITS AMAZING DAKAR RECORD WITH 11TH CLASS WIN
Hino continued to build on its amazing run of success in the gruelling Dakar Rally when its four-wheel drive 500 Series truck finished 10th overall out of an original field of 47 in the first of these gruelling endurance races to be held in Saudi Arabia. It took place from January 5-17 and included 12 timed racing sections totalling 5 000km.
Importantly this Hino truck collected the laurels for winning the under 10-litre engine capacity class for the 11th successive year. Hino’s closest competitor in this class was more than 40 hours behind.
Two Hinos, entered as usual as Team Hino Sugawara, started the event and while the No. 1 continued Hino’s wonderful record of reliability. the second one was forced to retire due to safety reasons in timed stage 10, with a cracked anti-roll bar, following earlier accident damage.
This was the first year that former team principal Yoshimasa Sugawara was not competing after having raced in the Dakar for 30 years. However, his son, Teruhito, kept the Hino flag flying high with another strong performance. He has now competed in 21 Dakars and has only finished out of the top 15 overall twice in the 16 years that he has been a driver, after navigating for his father previously.
This year Teruhito was accompanied by navigator Yuji Mochiyuki and technician Hirozaku Somemiya, after having relied on a two-person crew for the last several years.
The number of finishers, with the number of starters in parentheses were: MAN, 6 (13); Iveco, 4 (8); Renault, 3 (5); DAF, 3 (5); Kamaz, 3 (4); Tatra, 3 (3); MAZ, 3 (3); Hino, 1 (2); Mercedes Benz, 0 (1); Mercedes Unimog, 2 (2), Praga 1 (1).