Suffering a heavy and damaging fall in the sand dunes doesn’t stop Hino Team Sugawara continue through high-speed and long distances

Friday, 8 January 2021

Suffering a heavy and damaging fall in the sand dunes doesn’t stop Hino Team Sugawara continue through high-speed and long distances
Rear body of the Hino 500 Series truck was severely damaged due to a fall in the sand dunes

Stage 3 – Wadi Ad-Dawasir > Wadi Ad-Dawasir - 5th January 2021

The next stage of the Dakar Rally started in Wadi Ad-Dawasir in Saudi Arabia with a distance of 403kms. 137kms into the race, there was an incident where the sand dunes collapsed on the path. Fortunately, the Hino Team Sugawara crew members were not injured, and after having the Car body raised by the following competition car, they started running again and finished in 26th place overall.

Later on in the afternoon the vehicle that arrived at half past around bivouac received a check of the organiser’s technical committee.

As a result, the roll bar, which is a safety requirement, was not damaged and the competition was allowed to continue in condition that the windscreen was to be installed and the rear body repaired. The team immediately started inspection and repair work.

The next SS was in southern Saudi Arabia, in the Rub 'al Khali desert. This was a loop-shaped course that went around the northern part of the desert, starting from Wadi Ad-Dawasir, which is the northern end of the desert.

The course has a lot of variety such as valleys, rocky areas, as well as sand dunes, and there are many technical parts with high risk of damaging the Car where sections were difficult to navigate. The accident occurred in the hills of the dunes in the first half. The team entered the dent on the way down at 40km speed and fell forward with the front wheels as the axis.

The Car landed with the wheels facing up, the cab was deformed, the windscreen was cracked, and the rear body was also severely damaged, but there was almost no damage to the power train or chassis. The result of the SS was 26th place, which was 4 hours and 21 minutes behind the top, and the cumulative ranking up to this day fell to 18th place, but it is still in the early stages. The team aims to move up the ranking in the competition from tomorrow.

The next day’s journey is northward to the capital Riyadh. The SS is 337km in a long street spanning over 800km.

Teruhito Sugawara

“Falling down the dunes toward the depression. The speed wasn't high and the windscreen cracked like slow motion. I managed to repair it and continue the competition.”

Hirokazu Somemiya

“There was no effect on the navigation equipment, I was able to navigate as it was even after the fall. However, it was very cold because there was no front window. I will switch my mind and do my best from tomorrow.”

Yuji Mochizuki

“… it took hours and the engine was able to restart without problems not around the oil into the cylinder. The data logger etc. are damaged, but the running function is not a problem.”

Stage 4 - Wadi Ad-Dawasir > Riyadh – 6th January 2021

The Hino 500 Series (Car) suffered an unfortunate fall in the dunes during the SS on the previous day, was restored by the morning and continued the competition.  

Stage 4 continued from Wadi Ad-Dawasir to Riyadh which is 337kms in distance. 

The SS started 266kms north of the Wadi Ad-Dawasir in south western Saudi Arabia on the liaison. It was a high-speed stage with many sections running through mountainous areas. The road surface is 60% sandy and 30% soil. In addition to the sandy winding roads, there are also terribly dusty sections that go to the bottom of the dead river and into the steep and dangerous sand dunes. Due to the late arrival on the previous day, Hino Team Sugawara started in 23rd place, which was behind, but when they started, they passed the preceding cars one after another at the original pace. 

They finished in 15th place, 28 minutes and 4 seconds behind Kamaz, who was 1st in the SS. As a result, the cumulative ranking rose by one from the previous day to 17th overall in the truck category. In the class with a displacement of less than 10 litres, Ibrahim Al Muna (Mercedes-Benz Unimog) was in 2nd place behind the leader by 9 hours 33 minutes 35 seconds. 

The total distance travelled was 856km, the longest in the tournament, and the Hino 500 Series truck arrived at back when the sun went down.

The next SS is in Al-Kaishuma facing further north, traveling 456km in the SS and is located near the Kuwait border on the eastern side.

Teruhito Sugawara

“We had the FIA technical committee look at the truck this morning and started after confirming the restoration details. I was relieved that I ran the SS and ran as usual without any problems. I'll have it checked today and fix the details that I couldn't do last night.”

Hirokazu Somemiya

“The cold I had until yesterday got better and I was able to run comfortably today. There was one place where the navigation was difficult to understand, but it was okay. Electronic roadbooks are inconvenient because you can't write annotations yourself.”

Yuji Mochizuki

“The hardest part of last night’s restoration was installing the windscreen. The lower surface and pillars were hardly bent, but the upper surface was greatly deformed and pulled with a winch. But it was fixed properly and there is no draft today. I would like to check the wiring of the data logger tonight.”

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