Day’s Stage is Canceled and Teams Drive to Chilecito. The Hino Team is Gearing Up for the Last Portion of the Rally Which is to Start on Jan. 12.
On January 11, Stage9
Salta (Argentina) - Chilecito (Argentina)
Liaison: 674km Total: 674km
While the original plan called for a 406km SS in the Argentine Andes foothills that would have challenged racers with a high level of difficulty, organizers were forced to cancel the SS due to the assistance route being cut off by a mudslide on Jan. 10. Racing vehicles traveled on a 674km assistance route to Chilecito.
HINO500 Series trucks parked at the bivouac in Salta.
On Jan. 10, HINO TEAM SUGAWARA’s two HINO500 Series trucks, which were en route to Salta on an assistance route after finishing the SS, headed for the bivouac in Salta on a 200km detour that branched off north of the road block and circled westward. Car 2 and Car 1 arrived at the bivouac just before 11:30 pm and at about 1:00 am, respectively. Few vehicles were seen in Salta even as late as then, as many vehicles decided to bivouac near the detour junction. While the crews had been informed of the cancelation of the next day’s stage, members of the Hino team remained coolheaded in carrying out inspections and servicing to keep their trucks in optimum condition, with lights ablaze on assistance vehicles and trucks that arrived one after the other.
The mechanics worked through the night, and the HINO500 Series trucks left Salta at 7:30 am, arriving at the bivouac in Chilecito at around 6:00 pm. The assistance group arrived later and the trucks underwent final inspections. The itinerary for Jan. 12 is scheduled to take contestants on a long 448km SS set in the intermountain areas to the west of Chilecito.
Yoshimasa Sugawara: I will be shifting gears mentally because we will be facing another long SS tomorrow. My goal for this rally is to make it into the top 20 in accumulated overall standings. I will give it my best to demonstrate the fruit of our year of work.
Mitsugu Takahashi: It feels much hotter again back in Argentina. Personally, I prefer the cooler weather even if that means higher altitudes. At any rate, I wish we could have raced the entire marathon stage.
Teruhito Sugawara: The course for tomorrow is one that the organizers have included many times in the past, so perhaps navigation will be difficult. I’m looking forward to how the organizers may have increased the level of difficulty.
Hiroyuki Sugiura: I’m feeling really well physically now. While navigation may be challenging, I will continue to do my best.
Teruhito Sugawara and Hiroyuki Sugiura negotiate for a bivouac spot upon arriving at Salta.
Yoshimasa Sugawara is feeling good upon arriving at Salta.
Support staff and mechanics set up the bivouac.
HINO TEAM SUGAWARA prepares to begin their servicing work at the bivouac in Salta.
Mitsugu Takahashi is itching to race again.
Teruhito Sugawara speculates on tomorrow’s SS.
Yoshimasa Sugawara eagerly looks forward to racing the last portion of the rally.
HINO500 Series trucks and assistance cars arrive at Chilecito.
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