THIRD SUCCESSIVE CATEGORY WIN FOR HINO IN 2012 DAKAR RALLY







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: January 17, 2012
Categories: Hino

Hino, the leading Japanese truck manufacturer, continued to build on its amazing record of successes in the gruelling annual Dakar Rally, this time notching up its third consecutive victory in the category for trucks with engines of less than 10-litres capacity.

hino-dakar-2012

This year’s event started on January 1 in Mar-del-Plata in Argentina, traversed Chile and finished in Lima, Peru, on January 15. The total route for the trucks was 8 336km, made up of 14 competitive special stages, totalling 4 120km, and 4 216km of liaison sections.

The highest placed four-wheel-drive Hino 500-Series truck, crewed by Teruhito Sugawara and Seiichi Suzuki placed an excellent ninth overall in a field dominated by so-called “monster trucks” with much larger engines and many of them specially developed for this event.

The second Hino, driven by Teruhito’s 70-year-old  father, Yoshimasa, and co-driver Hiroyuki Sugiura, placed 24th overall and third in the 10-litre engine category. (Second in this class was the Mercedes-Benz Axor of Dutchmen Johan Elfrink and co-driver Hortulanus, which finished 14th overall, almost five hours behind the leading Hino.

The Hino 500 Series has also won the under 10-litre engine capacity category 12 times in the 13 races this category has been contested since this class was first introduced in 1996,

Hino, which was the first Japanese truck maker to start competing in the Dakar Rally, in 1991, has finished each of the events it contested. This excluded the 2008 Dakar Rally in Africa, which was cancelled at the last minute due to terrorist threats.

Interestingly the second Dakar in which Hino participated finished in Cape Town after starting in Paris, with the Japanese trucks in 4th, 5th, 6th and 10th positions. The big breakthrough came in 1994 with a second position overall. This achievement was repeated in 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001 and 2005.

The most successful year was 1997 when Hino became the first and until this year the only maker to take the first three places overall in the truck category when the route went from Dakar to Agades and back to Dakar. Last year Kamaz, of Russia, became the second maker to register a 1-2-3 finish.

This year Hino continued its long association with Team Sugawara, which is headed up by Yoshimasa Sugawara, who holds the record for the most consecutive entries in the Dakar Rally at 29. He is the only Japanese to have competed in this epic race on a motorcycle and quad as well as in a car and truck. Now 70 years of age he holds the record for the most consecutive finishes in the Dakar Rally at 21.

His son, Teruhito, has already established an amazing record in the Dakar Rally, with only one finish outside the top 10 in 14 years of competition.

The team was backed up by a support crew which included five technicians from Hino dealerships in Japan.

HINO’S PROUD RECORD:

Hino’s has a proud record in long distance rally-raids over 21 years and none of the factory-supported Hino's has had to withdraw from the event due to mechanical failure.

1991 Paris-Dakar: Four starters and three trucks finished 7th, 10th and 14th (out of 109 trucks entered and 44 finishers). The fourth Hino completed the course unofficially, as the driver had to be replaced when he was badly injured in a tyre-changing accident.

1992 Paris-Sirte-Le Cap (which finished in Cape Town): Four trucks entered and they finished 4th, 5th, 6th and 10th in the Camion class.

1992 Paris-Moscow-Beijing: One starter and one finisher, in 6th position.

1993 Paris-Dakar: One starter and one finisher, in 6th place, out of 28 finishers from an original field of 43 trucks.

1994 Paris-Dakar-Paris: One starter and one finisher, in 2nd place out of 10 finishers, from 29 starters in the truck category.

1995 Granada-Dakar: One starter and one finisher, in 2nd place out of 20 finishers from 60 starters in the truck category.

1996 Granada-Dakar: Two starters and two finishers, in 6th and 11th places, from the 70 trucks that started from Granada. (Winner of under 10-litre category)

1997 Dakar-Agades-Dakar: Three starters and three finishers, in 1st, 2nd and 3rd places – a feat never achieved by any truck maker previously or since. (1, 2, 3 in under 10-litre category).

1998 Paris-Granada-Dakar: One starter and one finisher, in 2nd place. (Winner of under 10-litre category).

1999 Granada-Dakar: One starter and one finisher, in 4th place, out of the 16 trucks (from an original field of 29 trucks) that made it to the end. (Winner of under 10-litre category).

2000 Dakar-Cairo: One starter and one finisher, in 5th place, out of 23 trucks (from an original field of 66) that made it to the finish. (Winner of under 10-litre category).

2001 Paris-Dakar: Two starters and one finisher, in 2nd place, out of 12 trucks (from an original field of 30) that made it to the finish. (Winner of under 10-litre capacity). The truck that retired with gearbox failure was a private entry and not factory-supported.

2002 Paris-Madrid-Dakar: One starter and one finisher, in 3rd place, out of 15 trucks (from an original field of 34) that made it to the finish. (Winner of under 10-litre category).

2003 Telefonica Dakar: One starter and one finisher, in 5th place, out of 27 trucks (from an original field of 49) that made it to the finish.

2004 Telefonica Dakar: One starter and one finisher, in 5th place, out of 38 trucks (from an original field of 62) that made it to the finish.

2005 Telefonica Dakar: Two starters and two finishers, in 2nd and 5th places, out of 36 trucks (from an original field of 69) that made it to the finish. (Winner of under 10-litre category).

2006 Lisbon-Dakar: Two starters and two finishers, in 5th and 7th places, out of 35 trucks (from an original field of 69) that made it to the finish.

2007 Lisbon-Dakar: Two starters and two finishers, in 9th and 13th places, out of 59 trucks (from an original field of 85) that made it to the finish. (Winner of under 10-litre category)

2008 Lisbon-Dakar: The race was cancelled at the last minute due to terrorist threats in North Africa.

2009 Dakar Argentina-Chile: Two starters and two finishers in 14th and 26th positions out of 54 trucks (from an original field of 81) that made it to the finish. (Second in under 10-litre category).

2010 Dakar Argentina-Chile: Two starters and one finisher in 7th position out of 28 trucks (from an original field of 54) that made it to the finish. Winner of the Production Series truck category and under 10-litre engine capacity class. The second Hino Team Sugawara entry was disqualified for missing a check-point.

2011 Dakar Argentina-Chile: Two starters and two finishers in 9th and 13th positions out of 41 finishers from an original field of 66. Winner of the Production Series truck category and under 10-litre category.

2012 Dakar Argentina-Chile-Peru: Two starters and two finishers in 9th and 24th position out of 60 finishers from an original field of 73. Winner of the under 10-litre engine category.