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January 10, 2017

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Car 2 Finishes at 14th Overall for the SS on the First Day of the Second Half of the Rally. Advances to 10th in Accumulated Overall Rankings.
Having been previously shortened to 161km due to bad weather, organizers decide to end the day’s SS at the 141km point.

On January 9, Stage7
La Paz (Bolivia) - Uyuni (Bolivia)
Liaison: 404km SS: 161km Liaison: 240km Total: 805km

On Jan. 9, the first day of the second half of Dakar Rally 2017, contestants raced in Bolivia en route from La Paz to Uyuni. Organizers originally scheduled a 322km SS for the day but were forced to shorten it to 161km due to inclement weather. Meanwhile, organizers also rerouted the liaison route to areas that were less affected by the rain, making this a long 805km stage, about 180km longer than originally planned.

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Car 2 piloted by the Teruhito Sugawara/Hiroyuki Sugiura crew

 

The first half of the day challenged racers with small ergs on sandy off-piste terrain where they battled to cross sand ridges. The sand was relatively deep which meant that truck crews had to be on extra alert. In the latter part of the day, the terrain transitioned to gravel piste which also featured a number of muddy areas. Competition for the trucks category was cut short at the 141.37km point due to road conditions that had deteriorated from the rain, and trucks were redirected to paved roads which took them to Uyuni.

HINO TEAM SUGAWARA’s HINO500 Series trucks, both of which have been fully refreshed by the mechanics on the rest day yesterday, had good runs throughout the SS. The Teruhito Sugawara and Hiroyuki Sugiura crew piloting Car 2 made no navigational errors, finishing at 14th overall and top in the Under 10-litre Class. Car 1 piloted by Yoshimasa Sugawara and Mitsugu Takahashi also delivered solid performance finishing the SS 36th overall and 2nd in the Class.

Based on these results, Car 2 advanced its accumulated overall standings as of Jan. 9 to 10th spot. Car 2 is also inching its way up in accumulated overall standings at 31st place. Car 2 and Car 1 continue to maintain their 1-2 positions in the Under 10-litre Class.

The Uyuni bivouac was set up as the marathon stage camp on a military facility, which meant that there would be no assistance crews to be seen here. This marathon stage will not be a Parc-Fermes stage where the racing vehicles are completely isolated from the crews, but a Parc-de-Travail stage where crews will be allowed to service their vehicles themselves. So while neither of HINO TEAM SUGAWARA’s trucks have been having any problems, the crew kept themselves busy carrying out inspections. Car 1’s arrival at Uyuni after its SS finish has not been confirmed as of 10:00 pm, the deadline for this update.

Although the longest SS in this year’s event had been scheduled for tomorrow, Jan. 10―a 492km SS straddling the Bolivian-Argentine border between Uyuni and Salta―organizers once again have had to shorten it due to the effects of rain. The first half of the SS set within Bolivian borders has been shortened to finish at the 174km point. The latter half of the SS across the border in Argentina has been canceled for the trucks category, shortening the SS from the scheduled 492km to 174km.

 

Teruhito Sugawara: While today’s SS was not particularly challenging, we did have to stay alert. I believe our finish position was fitting considering our current capabilities. We have been able to improve our accumulated standings as a result, but I’m actually more concerned with our time difference with the leaders than our standings. Today will be a marathon bivouac but we have hardly had any driving related problems thanks to our focus on solid truck building. I’m disappointed that the stage for tomorrow has been cut short again, but there isn’t much anybody can do about that.

 

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Car 1 piloted by the Yoshimasa Sugawara/Mitsugu Takahashi crew

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Teruhito Sugawara after arriving at the Uyuni bivouac.

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Car 2 is parked in the Parc-de-Travail at the Uyuni bivouac.

Links

Official facebook page by HINO TEAM SUGAWARA
http://www.facebook.com/HINO.Team.Sugawara

Send the message to HINO TEAM SUGAWARA!
http://www.teamsugawara.jp/

Dakar Rally official web site
http://www.dakar.com/

 

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