|Dakar Rally 2013: Japanese Hino Team to win 4th consecutive Class win.|
Hino Motors (Hino) held a press conference at the company’s headquarters in Hino City, announcing their intention to team up with Team Sugawara, led by Yoshimasa Sugawara, as "Hino Team Sugawara" to enter two Hino 500 Series trucks in the Trucks category of the Dakar Rally 2013 which is scheduled for January 5-20, traversing Peru, Argentina, and Chile in South America.
Present at the announcement, alongside members of the Hino Team Sugawara, were Hino chairman Kazuo Okamoto, and president Yoshio Shirai. At the beginning of the event, Mr. Shirai explained the significance for Hino to be taking part in the Dakar Rally, and cheered the team on.
This was followed by an overview given by Teruhito Sugawara - driver of Car 2 and winner of 3 consecutive championships in the "Under 10-litre class" - of the development of the new racing truck, which began in 2012 as a 3-year project and the features of the trucks for Dakar 2013, as well as details of the course characteristics for the 2013 race and how the team plans to tackle it.
Next up was the driver of Car 1 and holder of the Guinness Record for the most consecutive entries in the Dakar Rally at 30, Yoshimasa Sugawara, who discussed his ambitions for this, his 31st entry in the Dakar Rally.
In closing, Mr. Okamoto expressed his gratitude to all present for their support in enabling Hino to enter and finish a record 21 consecutive Dakar Rally races, and extended words of encouragement to the team. The Hino chairman also expressed his intention to visit Chile for the upcoming race to support the team and meet them at the goal.
Mitsuhiro Urabe from Kagawa Hino Motors expressed his strong commitment, speaking on behalf of the four mechanics who were chosen from Hino dealers nationwide as team members.
As the race trucks for the 2013 race were unveiled to the 30 or so press representatives, camera flashes lit up and team members fielded questions from reporters on the trucks’ specifications and the team’s race ambitions, indicating the considerable interest in Hino’s participation in this race.
After the press conference, a team supporters’ rally was held during lunch hours inside the Hino headquarters building. This event was attended by about 200 individuals, including representatives from sponsors as well as Hino Motors’ directors and employees.
The party featured a speech by Mr. Shirai, statements of commitment from Yoshimasa and Teruhito Sugawara, an overview of the trucks and racecourse, and a speech of encouragement from Mr. Okamoto. In closing, the crowd joined in a rally cry of "Let’s give it our all as Hino Team Sugawara!" and "Ei ei oh!" which was led by Mr. Enomoto, section chief at the Technical Research Center and the new CE for truck fabrication from this fiscal year.
2012/11/19 | 13:13 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/HINO