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Team Sugawara takes 11th class win in 2020 Dakar in a 4-wheel-drive Series 500 Hino

Team Sugawara takes 11th class win in 2020 Dakar in a 4-wheel-drive Series 500 Hino

The Hino trucks that compete in the Dakar Rally every year are certainly very different from the typical truck that Namibians know as a “beesbus”, a truck that transports cattle, but through the racing experience, they provide the genetics for all commercial Hino trucks.

In the 2020 Dakar, ran over the first two weeks of January, the Hino racers again gave an excellent performance, notching up the Hino team’s 11th class victory for trucks with an engine capacity of less than 10 litres. The 2020 Dakar Rally marked the 28th consecutive year that Hino has entered this gruelling event, which has now been staged for 42 years.

Of the 47 trucks that started the race, only 29 managed to make it to the end some 7500 km down the 12 stages.

Two Hinos entered as usual as Team Hino Sugawara. One had to retire on safety concerns as its roll cage cracked in a crash. The other successfully completed the gruelling rally, coming in 10th overall and first in its class.

This was the first year that the legendary racer, Yoshimasa Sugawara did not compete. During his illustrious career, Sugawara set an umatched record, completing 30 Dakar rallies, and later doubling as team principal under the Team Sugawara banner. Over the years, his son Teruhito developed into an accomplished racer himself, with the 2020 rally being his 21st completed Dakar, 16 of which as driver.

For Dakar 2020, Teruhito was accompanied by navigator Yuji Mochiyuki and technician Hirozaku Somemiya.

The dominant marque in the plus-10-litre category has always been MAN. However, this year, of the 13 MANs that started, only 6 reached the finish. The other teams drove Iveco, Renault, DAF, Kamaz, Tatra, MAZ, Mercedes Benz, Mercedes Unimog and Praga.

Caption. Celebrations all round as Team Sugawara takes its 11th class win in the Dakar rally for trucks with an engine displacement of less than 10 litres. From the left, navigator Yuji Mochiyuki, driver Teruhito Sugawara and mechanic Hirozaku Somemiya.


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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.