Hino Team Suguwara’s success in the Dakar Rally has continued with a record ninth consecutive class victory in the 2018 event which finished last weekend.
After 15 days and 14 stages of competition, Hino Team Suguwara’s Car 2 delivered a stunning performance to win the highly-competitive Under 10-litre class and finish sixth overall, beating many of its larger rivals.
In the early stages of the rally, Hino Team Sugawara was left with only one of its two Hino 500 Series trucks due to an ill-fated problem which forced Car 1 crewed by Yoshimasa Sugawara and Katsumi Hamura to withdraw from what was Mr Suguwara’s 35th straight start in the race.
Nonetheless, the Teruhito Sugawara and Mitsugu Takahashi crew on Car 2 pushed themselves and their truck to the limit, achieving the team's ninth straight win in the Under 10-litre Class.
Speaking at the finish line where he greeted the competitors, Hino Motors Chairman, Yasuhiko Ichihashi said:
“I am very happy that the team was able to fulfil their goal of winning their ninth straight win in the Under 10-litre Class.
“While Car 1 had to withdraw from the race, I'm glad that Car 2 was able to deliver the results that we had hoped for.”
Driver of Car 2 Teruhito Sugawara enjoyed the challenges of the difficult course which traversed many areas he hadn’t previously raced in.
“This was the 20th Dakar Rally for me personally, and I'm glad that we were able to achieve the results that we aimed for.
“I think we were able to make the best of our current potential so it was very satisfying in that respect too.”
Considered the ‘’ironman of Dakar”, Teruhito’s father Yoshimasa was disappointed not to finish what would have been his 27th consecutive Dakar Rally.
“Although this event turned out to be a huge failure for me, I am going to leave all of that behind and get to work to enter the rally again next year.
“I think Teruhito did really well this year considering the very difficult courses that we were all up against this year.”
Hino Australia National Marketing Manager Dimitri Andreatidis congratulated the team on its success:
“Sixth place against competitors with larger trucks is a significant achievement and one that we at Hino Australia are very proud of, especially as it is two places higher than last year.
“The reliability of the Hino team once again shone through with a ninth consecutive class victory.”
Both of the Hino Dakar Rally 500 Series vehicles used an enhanced version of the Hino A09C 6 cylinder engine, which is available as an option in the 500 Series Wide Cab trucks in Australia.
Key specifications of the two 2018 Dakar Rally Hino trucks include the 8,866cm3 direct injection turbocharged and intercooled engine matched to a six speed direct drive gearbox with secondary transmission, two speed transfer and a part time all- wheel drive (AWD) feature in Car 1 and full time AWD in Car 2.
The 40th Dakar Rally finished on 20 January after 15 challenging days that saw competitors race through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.