A Hino mechanic guides Truck 2 into place.
Welcome to the first of a two week blog, keeping you up to date with the mighty Hino Team Sugawara! We hope you’re not allergic to sand, because there’s gonna be plenty of it! Strap in and enjoy.
The Dakar Rally 2018 started off from Lima, Peru on Jan. 6, and took contestants on a 31 km route to their first bivouac in Pisco . The Hino team has entered two HINO500 Series trucks in the trucks category. Both trucks delivered solid performance with Car 2 crewed by Teruhito Sugawara and Mitsugu Takahashi finishing 12th overall and 1st in the Under 10-litre Class, and Car 1 piloted by Yoshimasa Sugawara and Katsumi Hamura finishing 23rd overall and 2nd in its class. (Finishing positions are provisional as the results chart available as of this writing did not show class rankings).
The course was set on sandy hills that stretched up from the coastline. The start and finish lines were near the bivouac site, and attracted a huge gallery of spectators. Delivering solid performances in this stage, Car 2 finished 3 minutes and 23 seconds behind the top position truck at 12th place overall and top spot in the Under 10-litre Class. The Car 1 crew carefully paced themselves today and finished without any problems at 23rd place overall.
Once the trucks arrived at the bivouac, the team's mechanics wasted no time to begin inspections and servicing work. Jan. 7 will feature a looped course base out of Pisco for a 267 km SS in the same area as today. This is likely to be one of the more difficult segments in the early part of the rally as most of the terrain will be sandy and there will be areas that are likely to pose a challenge for navigators.
Yoshimasa Sugawara (Hino 1): “We carefully paced ourselves on day 1 today as the distance was short. Mr. Hamura is navigating for me for the first time in three years, and driving was very comfortable because he has a knack for giving precise instructions. The truck is doing exceptionally well but I asked for some adjustments to the suspension.”
Teruhito Sugawara (Hino 2): “The racing distance today was short so it was a great way to warm up at the start of the rally. Today's SS was a combination of the 2012 and 2013 courses only that it took us in the opposite direction. I was able to get a real feel for how the engine has more power now so I'm looking forward to the competition taking off in earnest tomorrow and the days that follow.”
See you tomorrow!
Hino Team Sugawara Australia