Hino Team Sugawara has announced that it will be entering two HINO500 Series trucks in the trucks category in Dakar Rally 2018 which will be held from Jan. 6 thru 20, 2018 in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina.
Having been participating in the race for more than quarter of a century since becoming the first Japanese maker of commercial vehicles in the rally in 1991, the team is aiming to achieve its 27th straight finish in the rally.
Teruhito Sugawara, the team’s ace driver, achieved his eighth straight win in the Under 10-litre Class in 2017, rewriting the team’s previous record (The longest winning streak for the team being the 7-year streak from 1996 thru 2002). Year after year since the race relocated to South America in 2009, competition in the trucks category has increasingly become a sprint race where speed has become the operative factor. Hino’s engineering crew has thoroughly tuned Teruhito Sugawara’s HINO500 Series truck to improve its high-speed durability and extend its winning streak in its class to 9.
First entering the Paris-Dakar Rally (as it was known then) in the bikes category in 1983, 76-year young Yoshimasa Sugawara, the team’s director nicknamed the “Iron Man of Dakar,” began his partnership with the Hino team in 1992. His 34th entry in last year’s rally has been recognized as a Guinness World Record. Now working with mechanics who were chosen from dealerships all around Japan, Yoshimasa Sugawara entered Rally Mongolia that was held in Mongolia in August on a HINO500 Series truck to carry out real-word training and testing to take on the challenge of achieving another unprecedented record in the upcoming rally.
While the top positions in the trucks category in Dakar Rally are dominated by monster trucks with engine displacements of over 10 litres, the Hino team continues to battle shoulder to shoulder with these rivals and rewrites its own records, leveraging their savvy and technological capabilities under the motto “small prevails over large.” In the upcoming race, the team will be bringing together Hino’s engineering capabilities in truck manufacturing, servicing expertise of dealership mechanics, the know-how that Team Sugawara has accumulated over the years, and their tightly-knit teamwork to take on what is known as the “most grueling rally in the world.”