Handpicked mechanics join the team. Fabrication process enters the final stage.
Ever since Hino Motors first entered the Paris-Dakar Rally (whose current name is the Dakar Rally) in 1991, we have dispatched a total of 26 mechanics from our head office and dealers to the Rally for the purpose of improving teamwork, service skills, and motivation throughout the Hino group of companies. This year again, we invited mechanics to apply from dealers around the country, and four were chosen at the end of a rigorous screening process.
Of the 4,700 service mechanics nationwide, 10 mechanics who fulfilled stringent criteria - applicants were required to hold an HS-1 qualification (or equivalent), which is the top qualification for Hino service mechanics, or be a high score earner in skill contests among other criteria - underwent interviews and practical tests on the actual racing trucks during the final screening process. The final screening was juried by team members and associates including Team Directors Yoshimasa Sugawara and Teruhito Sugawara.
At the interviews, the mechanics were asked about their passion for the Dakar Rally and their previous work experience. Factors that were rated in the practical tests included teamwork, safety/time management abilities, and work quality among others. Another crucial factor was the mechanics' adaptability to unforeseen situations that could arise with the introduction of our new race truck.
After the screening, Yoshimasa Sugawara commented, "To tell you the truth, I'd like to check that all the bolts have been tightened myself before the race, but judging from how things went today, I can see that all the applicants were very reliable this year again, so I feel assured that I will be able to concentrate on racing."
The following are the members selected for the Dakar Rally 2012.
In preparation for the Dakar Rally 2012, these handpicked mechanics will make the final adjustments to the trucks in Japan to learn everything they need to know about the race-spec HINO 500 Series.
Three months to the race and truck fabrication reaches a crucial stage.
|Car 2 undergoing tipover angle measurements|
Meanwhile, Car 1, which will be piloted by Yoshimasa Sugawara, underwent minor changes that centered around weight reduction including removing trim from the ceiling and rear of the cab.
Additionally, as we were able to confirm the effectiveness of the cooling enhancements made to the new racing truck at Rally Mongolia, the oil coolers for the engine, transmission, and transfer on Car 1 were also relocated to the front-top area of the rear body and a duct was installed for intake of air. As part of further performance enhancements, the steering and braking feel were adjusted to suit "iron man" Yoshimasa Sugawara.
(Topics) Yoshimasa Sugawara supports Reiko Miyoshi at the Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc 2011 and contributes to her finishing the race.
Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc 2011 is a grueling race where runners are disqualified unless they complete a 170-km mountain course that starts at Chamonix in France, passes through Italy and Switzerland, and finishes at Chamonix in no longer than 46 hours. While several thousand runners from around the world enter this race each year, the race is so grueling that nearly half of the entrants end up withdrawing. This year's race was held on August 27 and 28, and resulted in only 47.83% of the contestants finishing - a figure reminiscent of the Dakar Rally. Under these harsh conditions, essayist and international rally racer Reiko Miyoshi, who has been close friends with Yoshimasa Sugawara since they first met at the Paris-Dakar Rally, was able to finish in what became her first entry in this race. Yoshimasa Sugawara took charge of her support team during the race. Support teams must arrive at the aid stations (water and food stations) before the contestants, and because they must take a long route around Mont Blanc, this race is a grueling one for the support team as well. This race will be aired in Japan.
|Reiko Miyoshi aims to finish the race||Yoshimasa Sugawara supported (left)||Completed the race perfectly|