Hino Motors will be teaming up with Team Sugawara, led by Yoshimasa Sugawara, to enter two 500 Series trucks in the Trucks category of Dakar Rally 2015 as HINO TEAM SUGAWARA. The rally is scheduled to start on January 3rd, 2015, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In response to what has become an increasingly speed-oriented race, the team has been phasing in power upgrades by increasing the displacement of its trucks’ engines. In the 2014 rally, the team achieved good results by mounting Car 1 with an A09C engine, an engine with 1 liter greater displacement than the J08C engines used in the past.
Car 2 will also be powered by this engine for the 2015 rally, as well as receiving upgrades to its exhaust system to realize further power enhancements. Both trucks have also received front and rear suspension upgrades to improve road surface tracking performance as the team aims to improve the trucks’ speed over rough surfaces.
The team will also be taking steps to improve its team capabilities. First, an additional navigator will be assigned to Car 1, driven by Yoshimasa Sugawara. The total of two navigators is expected to reduce the crew’s workload and improve racing performance. Second, with mechanics playing a critical supporting role in the race, the number of mechanics chosen from among Hino dealers nationwide has also been increased by one.
This year one mechanic has been chosen from each of Hakodate Hino Motor, Tokyo Hino Motor, Yokohama Hino Motor and Hiroshima Hino Motor. Additionally, one mechanic from Hino’s Vehicle Planning & Production Engineering Division and an engineer from the Engine Engineering Division will be joining the team—both returnees from the previous year—as part of the team’s strategy for improving its overall capabilities by drawing in as many rally veterans as possible. Through these efforts, the team aims to win its sixth straight championship in the Under 10-litre Class, and finish with a high ranking in the overall Trucks category.
By continuing to race in the world’s top rally, Hino hopes to share in the excitement of motor sport fans around the world, and build a stronger Hino brand overall.