Car 2 Maintains 8th Position in the Last Dunes Stage of the Rally. Car 1 is En Route, Also Having a Good Run.
January 13, Stage 11
San Juan (Argentina) - Rio Cuarto (Argentina)
Liaison: 73km SS (A): 114km Neutral zone: 367km SS (B): 173km Liaison: 27km Total: 754km
The itinerary for Jan. 13 took contestants from San Juan to Rio Cuarto, Argentina. They drove westward from San Juan in the Andes foothills, and raced a two-part SS with a long 367km neutral zone sandwiched in between on their way to the Cordoba region in central Argentina. The first 114km SS challenged racers with desert terrain and fesh-fesh. The second half, which was 173km long, took contestants through mountain roads that transitioned into high-speed piste. This is an area that organizers have included in the course a number of times in the past. Tomorrow, Jan. 14, will be the last day of racing and a 64km SS is scheduled in the vicinity of Rio Cuarto, but due to this short distance, there is little chance that position standings will change from here. So in effect, the SS today became the last day of racing for the teams.
Car 1 piloted by the Yoshimasa Sugawara/Mitsugu Takahashi crew
HINO TEAM SUGAWARA's two HINO500 Series trucks continued to deliver good performance on this SS. While Car 2 crewed by Teruhito Sugawara and Hiroyuki Sugiura became bogged in fesh-fesh in the earlier part of the day, they were assisted by another vehicle and were able to break free with about 10 minutes of lost time. Things went well after this incident, and the crew finished the SS at 14th spot, maintaining their 8th position in accumulated overall standings.
And while Car 1 crewed by the Yoshimasa Sugawara and Mitsugu Takahashi duo took some time as they exercised extra caution in the sandy segments, they finished the latter half with a good run, arriving in good shape at the bivouac in Rio Cuarto after 1 am. (No standings information for the truck was available at the time of this writing)
Tomorrow, Jan. 14 will finally be the last day of racing. After racing their last SS of the rally near Rio Cuarto, racers will take a long 700km liaison to the finish line in Buenos Aires. For the mechanics, tonight will be the last night of inspections and servicing in the competition. Fittingly, they were seen meticulously carrying out inspections at the bivouac.
Yoshimasa Sugawara: Although we didn't get bogged in the dunes in the first half, we took more time than we would've liked to, and as a result, we came in just 10 minutes under the maximum time restriction. Although we did have a good run after the dunes, that's why it took us this long to get here. I'm feeling absolutely fine physically.
Hiroyuki Sugiura: We were overtaken by a Kamaz and Tatra today, but there were others that fell behind us, so in the end, there was no change in our accumulated standings. Getting bogged in the dunes was unfortunate, but otherwise things went fine.
Car 2 piloted by the Teruhito Sugawara/Hiroyuki Sugiura crew
Koji Tanaka and Kohei Shimazaki arrive at the bivouac on their assistance car.
At the bivouac, HINO TEAM SUGAWARA members wait for their HINO500 Series trucks.
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