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Hino sets new Dakar record – 27 years always with at least one truck finishing the race

Hino sets new Dakar record – 27 years always with at least one truck finishing the race

Only one of the two Hino teams that started the recent Dakar Rally in Peru, managed to qualify for a finish but this was only the third time that any Hino failed to finished this gruelling race. The Hino team that did accomplish a finish, helped maintain Hino’s unbroken 27-year record of always having a contender among the successful teams.

Hino has had at least one of its trucks qualify as a finisher in every Dakar since it competed for the first time in 1991.

This year only 14 trucks from an initial entry of 41 qualified as official finishers, with the Hino, crewed by Teruhito Sugawara and Katsumi Hamura, taking ninth position overall and winning the class for trucks with an engine capacity of less than 10 litres for the 10th consecutive year.

Teruhito’s father, Dakar veteran Yoshimasa Sugawara, now 77, said he is already planning for the 2020 Dakar Rally. This year’s Dakar was his 36th consecutive event, having competed in the motorcycle, quad, car, and truck categories over the years.

Teruhito, has now notched up 21 Dakar rallies and he has finished on each occasion. First he was a navigator for his father and since 2005 he has driven his own Hino. In only two events did he not finish among the top 15.

As an indication how high the bar is to qualify as a finisher, MAN, for instance entered 10 trucks in the recent Dakar of which only three finished. Lias, Renault, Ford, Ginaf and Mercedes Benz all failed to achieve even one finish.

“We believe that the Hino spirit, which drives us to constantly adopt technological innovations in our trucks, races with us through the Dakar Rally,” said the man who has entered more Dakar Rallies than anybody else in the world.


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SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.