20 January, 2015
HINO Finishes 24th Consecutive Dakar Rally and Wins it's Class Again
Hino, the leading Japanese truck manufacturer and the first one from that country to enter the gruelling Dakar Rally, way back in 1991, registered its 24th consecutive finish in the 2015 edition of this gruelling, annual cross-country race which finished in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on January 17.
The two-truck Hino Team Sugawara once again had a 100% finishing record and scored a 1-2 in the Dakar Challenge for trucks with engines of less than 10 litres capacity, making it six consecutive class wins and the second year in a row with them being first and second in the class. This was the 15thtime Hino has won this engine capacity award in the 16 times it has been contested since 1996.
Two Mercedes-Benz Unimogs crewed by Italian teams were third and fourth in the class this year. They were 39th and 40th overall and more than 44 hours behind the class-winning Hino.
The Hinos finished 16th (Teruhito Sugawara and Hiroyuki Sugiura) and 32nd (Yoshimasa Sugawara, Yoko Wakabayashi and Katsumi Hamura) overall out of the 42 trucks which completed the route of 8 161km, including more than 3 500km of timed racing sections. A total of 64 trucks had entered this year's event.
This was the seventh time that the Dakar has been staged in South America after previously being run in Africa until it had to be cancelled in 2008 due to a fear of terrorist attacks on the competitors.
"We are pleased and proud at yet another display of outstanding reliability and durability by these two Hino trucks in the toughest regular test for this type of vehicle in open competition in the world," commented the Vice President of Hino South Africa, Ernie Trautmann.
"The two, four-wheel drive Hino 500-Series trucks entered by Hino Team Sugawara were once again the only representatives from the Japanese truck industry to participate in this two-week marathon across some of the world's most desolate regions. The strong performance also served to underline Hino's competitive spirit and technological resource," he added.
What makes the Dakar Rally a David and Goliath contest in the truck category is the fact that the Hino uses production-based six-cylinder intercooled turbocharged engines of less than 10-litres, while most of its rivals are in the "monster" category with much larger capacity engines developed specifically for this annual race.
The President of Hino Motors Limited, Yasuhiko Ichihashi, was at the finish of the Dakar for the first time to welcome the two, triumphant crews and said it was a moving experience. It was a great result for the crews, the Hino employees from the company and a few dealers in Japan who had supported them.
This year both trucks were fitted with the Hino 9-litre common rail A09C-T1 turbo-intercooled engine which developed 630 horsepower. The only major problem encountered by the two trucks was a leaking radiator in Teruhito's No. 2 truck, probably caused by a flying stone, on the second day which caused a significant time loss.
Hino Team Sugawara says it will use the data and information collected during this year's race to make the trucks even more competitive in 2016.
This year's route started in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and went into Bolivia before the finish back in Buenos Aires, it included 13 timed special stages, many of which were far longer than usual and there was a marathon stage over two days when no outside assistance in servicing the trucks was permitted. There was a significant amount of high altitude running, often above 3 000m, which was taxing on the crews and power sapping for the vehicles.
This year Hino continued its long association with Team Sugawara, which is headed up by Yoshimasa Sugawara, who has entered the Dakar Rally 32 times consecutively - a record. He is the only Japanese to have competed in this epic race on a motorcycle and quad as well as in a car and truck.
Now 73 years of age he holds the record for the most consecutive finishes in the Dakar Rally at 24. His son, Teruhito, contested the Dakar Rally for the 17th time in this year's race and this was only the fourth time he has finished outside the top 10.
Hino, Kamaz, Iveco, Tatra and Maz were the only five makes with a 100% finishing record in this year's race out of a field that also included MAN, Mercedes-Benz, DAF, Ginaf, Renault and Liaz trucks.
Interestingly the second Dakar in which Hino participated finished in Cape Town after starting in Paris, with the Japanese trucks in 4th, 5th, 6th and 10th positions. The big breakthrough came in 1994 with a second position overall. This achievement was repeated in 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001 and 2005.
The most successful year for Hino was 1997 when it became the first and until 2011 the only maker to take the first three places overall in the truck category when the route went from Dakar to Agades and back to Dakar. In 2011 Kamaz, of Russia, became only the second truck maker to register a 1-2-3 finish and repeated this feat in 2013 and this year.
HINO'S PROUD RECORD ON DAKAR RALLY
Hino's has a proud record in long distance rally-raids over 24 years and none of the factory-supported Hino's has been forced to withdraw from the event due to mechanical failure.
1991 Paris-Tripoli-Dakar (9 186km): Four starters and three trucks finished 7th, 10th and 14th (out of 109 trucks entered and 44 finishers). The fourth Hino completed the course unofficially, as the driver had to be replaced when he was badly injured in a tyre-changing accident. (This was the first truck from a Japanese manufacturer to enter the rally)
1992 Paris-Sirte-Le Cap, which finished in Cape Town (13 015km): Four trucks entered and they finished 4th, 5th, 6th and 10th in the Camion class.
1992 Paris-Moscow-Beijing: One starter and one finisher, in 6th position.
1993 Paris-Dakar (8 877km): One starter and one finisher, in 6th place, out of 28 finishers from an original field of 43 trucks.
1994 Paris-Dakar-Paris (13 398): One starter and one finisher, in 2nd place out of 10 finishers, from 29 starters in the truck category.
1995 Granada-Dakar (10 067km): One starter and one finisher, in 2nd place out of 20 finishers from 60 starters in the truck category.
1996 Granada-Dakar (7 579): Two starters and two finishers, in 6th and 11th places, from the 70 trucks that started from Granada. (Winner of under 10-litre category)
1997 Dakar-Agades-Dakar (8 051km): Three starters and three finishers, in 1st, 2nd and 3rd places over - a feat never achieved by any truck maker previously and it was only equalled by Kamaz in 2011 and repeated in 2013. (1, 2, 3 in under 10-litre category).
1998 Paris-Granada-Dakar (10 570km): One starter and one finisher, in 2nd place. (Winner of under 10-litre category).
1999 Granada-Dakar (9 441km): One starter and one finisher, in 4th place, out of the 16 trucks (from an original field of 29 trucks) that made it to the end. (Winner of under 10-litre category).
2000 Paris-Dakar-Cairo (7 880km): One starter and one finisher, in 5th place, out of 23 trucks (from an original field of 66) that made it to the finish. (Winner of under 10-litre category).
2001 Paris-Dakar (10 873km): Two starters and one finisher, in 2nd place, out of 12 trucks (from an original field of 30) that made it to the finish. (Winner of under 10-litre capacity). The truck that retired with gearbox failure was a private entry and not factory-supported.
2002 Paris-Madrid-Dakar (9 440): One starter and one finisher, in 3rd place, out of 15 trucks (from an original field of 34) that made it to the finish. (Winner of under 10-litre category - seventh consecutive victory in this class).
2003 Telefonica Dakar: Marseille-Sham El Sheikh (8 602km): One starter and one finisher, in 5thplace, out of 27 trucks (from an original field of 49) that made it to the finish.
2004 Telefonica Dakar: Clermont-Ferrand-Dakar (10 411km): One starter and one finisher, in 5thplace, out of 38 trucks (from an original field of 62) that made it to the finish.
2005 Telefonica Dakar: Barcelona-Dakar (8 956km): Two starters and two finishers, in 2nd and 5thplaces, out of 36 trucks (from an original field of 69) that made it to the finish. (Winner of under 10-litre category).
2006 Lisbon-Dakar (9 043km): Two starters and two finishers, in 5th and 7th places, out of 35 trucks (from an original field of 69) that made it to the finish.
2007 Lisbon-Dakar (7 915km): Two starters and two finishers, in 9th and 13th places, out of 59 trucks (from an original field of 85) that made it to the finish. (Winner of under 10-litre category)
2008 Lisbon-Dakar: The race was cancelled at the last minute due to terrorist threats in North Africa.
2009 Dakar Argentina-Chile: Buenos Aires-Valparaiso-Buenos Aires (9 579km): Two starters and two finishers in 14th and 26th positions out of 54 trucks (from an original field of 81) that made it to the finish. (Second in under 10-litre category).
2010 Dakar Argentina-Chile: Buenos Aires-Antofagasta-Buenos Aires (9 026km): Two starters and one finisher in 7th position out of 28 trucks (from an original field of 54) that made it to the finish. Winner of the Production Series truck category and under 10-litre engine capacity class. The second Hino Team Sugawara entry was disqualified for missing a check-point.
2011 Dakar Argentina-Chile: Buenos Aires-Alica-Buenos Aires (9 458km): Two starters and two finishers in 9th and 13th positions out of 41 finishers from an original field of 66. Winner of the Production Series truck category and under 10-litre category.
2012 Dakar Argentina-Chile-Peru: Buenos Aires-Copiapo-Lima (8 336km): Two starters and two finishers in 9th and 24th position out of 60 finishers from an original field of 73. Winner of the under 10-litre engine category
2013 Dakar Peru-Argentina-Chile: Lima-Antofagasta-Santiago (8 121km): Two starters and two finishers in 19th and 31st position overall out of 60 finishers from an original entry of 74. Winner of the Dakar Challenge for trucks with an engine capacity under 10 litres.
2014 Dakar Argentina-Bolivia-Chile: Rosario-Salta-Valparaiso (9 188km): Two starters and two finishers in 12th and 32nd positions overall out of 50 finishers from an original entry of 71. Winner of the Dakar Challenge for trucks with an engine capacity under 10 litres.
2015 Dakar Argentina-Bolivia-Chile: Buenos Aires to Buenos Aires (8 161km): Two starters and two finishers in 16th and 32nd positions overall out of 42 finishers from an original entry of 64.Winner of the Dakar Challenge for trucks with an engine capacity under 10 litres.