The Dakar Rally holds the notorious title of being the ‘world’s most gruelling rally’.
Beginning in Paris in December 1977, the inaugural race saw 182 vehicles take to the starting line to traverse the 10,000km route from Paris to the Senegalese capital of Dakar. Of those 182 competitors, only 72 crossed the finish line. Cyril Neveu holds the distinction of being the first ever winner of the Dakar Rally, riding a Yamaha motorcycle.
Over the years the Dakar has been held in various locations across the world:
- 1977-2008 Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal
- 2009-2019 South America
- 2020-Now Saudi Arabia
In 1991, Hino became the first ever Japanese truck manufacturer to enter the Dakar Rally. In a race where some years only 20.5% of entrants finish, Hino has successfully completed each rally since first taking part in a Hino 500 Series.
Leading the charge for Hino from 1992 to 2019 has been Yoshimasa Sugawara. Born in 1941, Yoshimasa holds the world record for most consecutive entries in the Dakar Rally – at 36 – as well as most consecutive completions at 20 races, with his last race being in 2019 at the amazing age of 77 years.
In 2019 there was a changing of the guard, with Yoshimasa Sugawara stepping aside, his son Teruhito Sugawara has taken the reins, bringing a wealth of rally experience learned at his father’s side.
Welcome to the 2022 Dakar Rally Hino Team Sugawara.
Hino Team Sugawara
Teruhito Sugawara, Team Director and Driver of Car 1.
First joining the Dakar Rally team as a mechanic in 1998, he began navigating for his father the following year. Teruhito built his experience in off-road racing in Japan and Rally Mongolia, before stepping behind the wheel of the Hino 500 Series for the Pharoah Rally (Egypt) in 2003, finishing with a championship in the trucks category. Since 2005 he’s raced alongside his father in the Dakar Rally as a father/son duo. With his father announcing his retirement at the end of the 2019 event, Teruhito stepped into his position as team director, and won his eleventh consecutive championship in the ‘Under 10-Litre Class’ in 2020.
Hirokazu Somemiya, Navigator, Car 1.
Hirokazu Somemiya has taken part in numerous races in Japan and overseas including the Japanese Rally Championship, Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, the American off-road racing event ‘BAJA1000’, and the Asia Cross Country Rally, serving as navigator and communications manager at various times.
Yuji Mochizuki, Navigator, Car 1.
Yuji Mochizuki joined the Hino Power Train and Evaluation Division in 2003, where he was part of the team evaluating engines for further development. His first rally as navigator was in 2020.
However, a rally team is more than just the driver and navigators. You need a team to ensure the vehicle keeps going, and a team to ensure everyone has what they need to get across the finish line.
The team working behind the scenes are:
Seiichi Suzuki, Mechanic.
Mayumi Kezuka, Mechanic.
Koji Yoshikawa, Mechanic.
Tadaaki Sato, Mechanic.
Rumi Ando, Support Member.
Shun Konnai, Support Member.
There you have it, your Hino Team Sugawara for the 2022 Dakar Rally.
With qualifications beginning on December 27, 2021 and the official Dakar 2022 starting on January 1, 2022, we’re in for some intense racing across some of the most stunning and brutal terrain the world has ever seen.
We wish Hino Team Sugawara all the best and will be cheering them on from Australia.