|Dakar Rally 2014: Hino Team Sugawara begins preparations for 2014.|
Organizers of the Dakar Rally have made the decision to hold the Dakar 2014 in South America for the sixth year, and Hino Motors will continue to partner with Team Sugawara to enter this race as "Hino Team Sugawara".
The team has been working towards improving the performance of its trucks in a 3-year plan since the Dakar 2012. In what will be the culminating year of this 3-year plan, the team will be aiming for top rankings in the overall category in the Dakar 2014.
Given that competition in the trucks category has been intensifying year by year, and in order to position itself to squarely compete with European rivals powered by engines with over twice the displacement, Hino Motors has reinforced its truck development team to achieve further improvements in the truck performance.
For the next race in 2014, the third year of the team's 3-year plan, the team will be making further improvements and adding more horsepower to the electronically controlled engine that is being introduced for the first time in the 2013 race. Additionally, the axle and brakes that also debuted in the previous race will receive further refinements to their operability and reliability to increase driving speed over rough terrain.
These improvements will be incorporated in the team's ace car, Car 2 driven by Teruhito Sugawara, with the aim of achieving the highest overall rankings. This year again, Car 1 driven by Yoshimasa Sugawara will function as a real-life test truck incorporating new technologies and specifications that the team has not tried in the past.
Currently, Hino Motors' development team and drivers Yoshimasa and Teruhito Sugawara are carefully analyzing data and video from the previous race to develop a plan to create a more robust and faster Hino 500 Series truck and enhance its overall racing performance.
Truck inspections and modifications are being carried out in a section of Hino Engineering Annex's factory (Hidaka, Saitama). Hino Engineering Annex is a Hino group company that is in the business of customizing production vehicles to suit customer needs. The team also plans to race in Rally Mongolia 2013 scheduled for August 2013.
As for the team's organization, Yoshimasa Sugawara and his second son Teruhito Sugawara will continue to drive the team's trucks. Yoshimasa Sugawara, who also doubles as the team's director will be recording his 23rd entry in the race at the age of 72.
Teruhito Sugawara will be aiming for his 5th class championship in the Under 10-litre Class. Carrying on from the previous year, the navigators are Katsumi Hamura (Car 1) and Hiroyuki Sugiura (Car 2). Support mechanics will again be selected from among applicants from Hino dealerships around Japan.
In order to enhance support operations, the assistance truck, which is responsible for transporting replacement parts, will be replaced by a HINO 700 Series ZS truck. This truck is popular in dump truck and mining markets outside of Japan, thanks to its superb performance over rough terrain and robust frame.
The rear body will be refitted by Hino Engineering Annex. Because the assistance truck will be using the same 20" tires that the racing trucks will run on, the truck’s axle will be modified to 20" specs from its current 24" by Hino Engineering Annex, Hino Motors chassis component & system engineering division, along with the administration and machining divisions at the Hamura Plant for a scheduled completion date in late July.
2013/05/28 | 16:27 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/SUWA