Mr Ichikawa, Hino Motors Chairman, with Team Sugawara Father and Son Winners
Overcoming the severe challenges of the world’s toughest race with upgraded HINO500 Series trucks and dedicated teamwork, Hino Team Sugawara maintained their stunning leads throughout the race and crossed the finish line in Buenos Aires in the 1 – 2 positions in the Under 10-Litre Class on January 14. This brought to a close, Dakar Rally 2017, a fierce two-week competition fraught with weather setbacks and cancellations, formidable terrain obstacles, and navigation difficulties.
Car 2 crewed by Teruhito Sugawara and Hiroyuki Sugiura finished at 8th overall in the trucks category with a extraordinary performance that posed a real threat to the leading group of larger trucks and also won its 8th straight victory in the Under 10-litre Class. Car 1 crewed by Yoshimasa Sugawara and Mitsugu Takahashi finished at 29th overall.
“Besides the fact that our trucks have been vastly upgraded, I think the fact that there were many canceled stages and navigation was difficult this year worked to our advantage,” reflected Car driver 2, Teruhito Sugawara. “That being said, this outcome was not a fluke but the result of our hard work.”
Stage 12 of the rally took contestants from Rio Cuarto to Buenos Aires, Argentina where they raced the last SS of the event on 64km of agricultural roads. Upon arrival, contestants took part in a podium goal ceremony. Hino Motors chairman, Masakazu Ichikawa flew in from Japan to congratulate the entire Hino Team Sugawara crew who lined up for a group photo as they waved to the cheering crowd, celebrating yet another impressive Dakar victory for Hino Team Sugawara and a remarkable 34th consecutive Dakar Rally entry for team captain and driver, Yoshimasa Sugawara.
“We have been supporting the team all the while, and Mr. Teruhito's single-digit finish in the category was truly admirable,” commented Masakazu Ichikawa, Chairman of the Board of Hino Motors. “Mr. Yoshimasa did very well too. I am very happy of these results.” Yoshimasa Sugawara added, “I'm very happy with Teruhito's finish in 8th place overall. We raced as we had planned and were able to win with a 1-2 finish. I am still full of energy. Thank you very much for your support.”