|SA-Dakar 2011: Hino Trucks and Sugawara Team to start with two Hino 500.|
The Japanese truck manufacturer Hino has submitted two entries through Team Sugawara for the upcoming South America Dakar. This marks the 20th straight year that Hino has taken part in this epic long-distance rally-raid. In celebration of the anniversary, the trucks are liveried in the make-up colours of actors in the traditional Japanese Kabuki theatre.
The best performance of Hino was in 1997 when the three Hino trucks took first, second and third positions overall in the Dakar-Agades-Dakar Rally.
The two Hino 500 will be aiming for high placings in the overall truck category while looking for another victory in the Challenge section. The six-cylinder intercooled turbocharged engines of 7961 ccm produce 260hp at 2700r/min and are capable of propelling the 7-ton trucks to a top speed of 170 km/h. They each carry 650 liters of fuel.
Each truck will again be driven by a Sugawara, one by father Yoshimasa, who will be competing in his record-breaking 28th straight Dakar Rally, and the second by his son, Teruhito, who competed in his first Dakar as a navigator in 1999.
Yoshimasa, who holds the record for the most consecutive Dakar finishes (20), is also the only Japanese to have competed in all four types of vehicle allowed in the rally - motorcycle, quad, car and truck - and has six second-place finishes in trucks to his credit.
He will have a new co-driver next year, Hiroyuki Sugiura, who had his first experience of navigating a Hino racing truck in the recent Rally of Mongolia. Teruhito has a very experienced co-driver in Seiichi Suzuki, who has competed in 15 Dakar rallies.
2010/12/10 | 15:44 CET | A: MR/HS | S: [ www.businessday.co.za ]