|SA-Dakar Rally: Hino Trucks to achieve goal of winning "Under 10-litre class".|
The two trucks fielded by the Japanese "Hino Team Sugawara" - which exploited the advantage that their trucks have in the dune stages and achieved a one-two finish in the Under 10-litre in yesterday's SS - continued to perform well.
Car 2 piloted by Teruhito Sugawara and Seiichi Suzuki came in at 11th overall and 1st in the class. Car 1 piloted by Yoshimasa Sugawara and Hiroyuki Sugiura came in at 15th and 3rd in these respective categories. These results put Car 2 at 9th overall and 1st in the Under 10-litre class.
Car 1 is now ranked 23rd overall and has made more solid its 3rd position in the Under 10-litre class. The team is making sure-footed advances to achieve their goal of winning the Under 10-litre class championship for the third straight year, and achieve high rankings in the Trucks category overall.
Having said that, as no one knows what might be awaiting around the corner in the Dakar Rally, one can never let one's guards down until one crosses the finish line. The entire team renewed their commitment at their bivouac in Pisco to complete the final stage, and reach their final destination in Lima tomorrow.
"This was a stage where we could not let our guards down until the finish" said Yoshimasa Sugawara. "There were many dunes that were caved in, probably due to the wind, and these were quite treacherous. We had to go over about five of these difficult dunes. We've been told that the dunes here would be challenging, but I had no idea that they would be this difficult. Having said that, our truck continued to perform perfectly today."
Hiroyuki Sugiura added: "Just based on what I saw on the map, I didn't think the dunes would pose much of a challenge, but was I ever wrong. We haven't finished the rally yet, but I am relieved that we finished today's SS."
Teruhito Sugawara said: "The driving today was like driving in Africa. We came across many series of small dunes, and there was lots of fesh-fesh (powder sand). We also came across huge gaps, and the dust was pretty bad too. We did well and pulled through without getting stuck. I do wish there were more of these types of SSs as these work in our favor."
2012/01/15 | 12:44 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/HINO