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August 30, 2017

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HINO500 Series Car 1 Finishes Rally Mongolia at 14th Place

HINO500 Series Car 1 entered Rally Mongolia that was held from Aug. 13th to 20th, finishing the eight-day race at 14th place. In Rally Mongolia all vehicles including bikes, cars, and trucks compete for time. The HINO500 Series truck fully leveraged its high road clearance―an advantage of trucks―racing alongside agile bikes and cars in the vast landscape of Mongolia. This real-world test of performance, which was the team’s objective, produced sufficient results making it a very meaningful test. In this issue of Dakar News, we would like to give our readers the highlights of Rally Mongolia, as well as comments from the driver, navigator, and mechanics.

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Aug. 13, Stage 1
 After taking part in the start ceremony that was held in Ulaan Baatar, the HINO500 Series truck took off in great shape as the support group led by Hino Motors managing director, Mr. Yasuda and team members looked on. While two SSs were originally scheduled for this day, SS-1 had to be canceled at the last minute because the course had to be closed due to a disease outbreak in farm animals, making for a dramatic start of the race. Contestants detoured around these areas and started their race at SS-2. The HINO500 Series truck completed the 251km SS for day one without any problems, reaching the finish line at 17:30 before it was parked in the Parc Fermes on the campsite at 18:10. This was a marathon stage where other members were camped in another village entirely, making this a tough start of the race for the teams.

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Aug. 14, Stage 2
This was day two of the 1000km+ marathon stage. While there were no dunes this day, the course provided a diverse range of terrain including dried river beds and forests. This day again, the HINO500 Series truck finished without any problems at 17:15. The mechanics serviced the truck extra thoroughly as they were not able to service it the day before.

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Aug. 15, Stage 3
The SS for the day started after a liaison from Zoumod to Shinejist. The itinerary included two SSs that traversed mountain terrain and dried river beds. It was a loop course where contestants finished the first SS at Shinejist after which they headed back to Zoumod. When the HINO500 Series truck was serviced the previous day it received one extra shock absorber,each on the front suspension. Driver Yoshimasa Sugawara delivered great performance this day.

Aug. 16, Stage 4
The original plan called for contestants to start at 12 midnight and race through the Mongolian night, but organizers changed the plan, moving down the start time to 10am. The additional shock absorbers were working very well allowing the HINO500 Series truck to drive in top shape. However, at the 20km point the crew lost about 20 minutes when the turbo band came off causing the turbo hose to slip off. It was smooth racing then out and the truck arrived at the camp without any other problems. The mechanics wasted no time servicing the HINO500 Series truck when it arrived at the camp.

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Aug. 17, Stage 5
In the day’s SS-1, contestants raced on dried river beds and then out to piste. SS-2 featured lush greenery. The team had removed one leaf spring from the HINO500 Series truck when it was serviced the previous day and made adjustments to the shock absorber. They were able to verify that the suspension worked well in this day’s stage.

Aug. 18, Stage 6
The start of this day’s SS was impressive with all competing vehicles lined up and starting at once. The day’s course took contestants through beautiful scenery with rivers, greens and dunes up to the SS’s finish line. The HINO500 Series truck made the simultaneous start in great shape and crossed mountains and dunes reaching the finishing line without any problems.

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Aug. 19, Stage 7
This day, the starting point of SS-1 doubled as the campsite. Soon after the start, contestants found themselves racing over dunes. This was followed by rivers and grasslands, as well as mountain courses with frequent ups and downs, giving the course a rich variation of conditions. While this was a tough course for bikes and cars with puddles forming from the rain―two vehicles became stuck trying to cross rivers in SS-1―the HINO500 Series truck leveraged its advantages as a truck and finished the day without any problems.

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Aug. 20, Stage 8
This was the final day of the rally. The HINO500 Series truck finished the 140km SS of the day to complete the Rally Mongolia. After crossing the finish line, contestants traveled a liaison and formed a parade that was led by police vehicles on their way to the ceremony venue. All finishers were awarded a finisher’s medal.

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Rally Mongolia 2017 overview
Dates: Sunday, Aug. 13 - Sunday, Aug. 20
Timed segments: 2934.91km
Liaison segments: 978.93km
Total travel distance: 3913.84km

Date Stage Start Finish Timed segments Liaison segments Total (km)
Sun, Aug. 13 Stage 1 Ulaan Baatar Dalanzadgad 537.37 178.17 715.54
Mon, Aug. 14 Stage 2 Dalanzadgad Zoumod 464.67 74.27 538.94
Tue, Aug. 15 Stage 3 Zoumod Zoumod 363.6 151.74 515.34
Wed, Aug. 16 Stage 4 Zoumod Zoumod 119.94 0 119.94
Thu, Aug.17 Stage 5 Zoumod Sayhan Ovoo 444.51 95.08 539.59
Fri, Aug. 18 Stage 6 Sayhan Ovoo Bayan Gobi 450.03 50.69 500.72
Sat, Aug. 19 Stage 7 Bayan Gobi Harhorin 414.47 136.23 550.7
Sun, Aug. 20 Stage 8 Harhorin Ulaan Baatar 140.32 292.71 433.07
      Total 2934.91 978.93 3913.84
* Includes 25.88km parade

 

Rally Mongolia 2017 results

  Vehicles entered Finishers Finish percentage
Bikes 32 15 46.90%
Four-wheeled vehicles 15 11 73.30%
Total 47 26 55.30%
 * Includes trucks

 

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Yoshimasa Sugawara, Driver:
I was a bit concerned at first because we had made changes to the suspension, but thanks to the work our mechanics did on the truck, such as removing the leaf springs, the truck delivered 100% the performance that I expected to. It is crucial to see how the truck performs in the competitive conditions of a real rally where servicing must be done under tight time constraints. You can’t do this without competing. Finishing this rally has been a true learning experience for us.

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Mitsugu Takahashi, Navigator:
I think the truck has turned out very well as we have been making fine adjustments to it right up to the end of the rally. We made no major navigating errors and worked hard to improve our position if only by one spot. I am very much looking forward to how the truck will perform once it is completed for the Dakar Rally. As a team, we have been growing our teamwork by taking part in two rallies―the Silk Way Rally and Rally Mongolia―so I am determined to give it my best at the Dakar Rally so that we can build on this teamwork and deliver the performance that the truck is capable of delivering.

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Yoichi Okabe, Mechanic Sub-Leader (Vehicle Planning & Production Engineering Div, Hino Motors):
Car 2 was the truck we serviced in the Silk Way Rally. This time it was Car 1 so there was some getting used to in terms of communication with the driver and navigator, as well as the differences in the vehicles themselves. So while it was a bit confusing at first, we learned quickly and were able to perform our servicing work consistently by the second half of the rally. Our mechanics’ servicing speed has gone up quite a bit and we were able to undertake servicing tasks that were quite demanding, so we hope to keep up this momentum as we head out to the Dakar Rally.

Hideaki Takatori, Mechanic (Vehicle Planning & Production Engineering Div, Hino Motors):
This was my first experience in Rally Mongolia, and working together with the mechanics and other team members, we were able to bring our truck back to the finish line without any problems. I would like to build on this experience in other rallies that we race in going forward.

Yuki Takano, Mechanic (Hino Motor Gunma):
There were times that I felt that the conditions in Rally Mongolia were harsher than in the Silk Way Rally. That being said, our teamwork is getting better and better as we’ve all been working together from before the Silk Way Rally, and I’m happy that our work is going much smoother now. I am determined to sharpen our teamwork even more to deliver good results at the Dakar Rally.

Hiroki Kinoshita, Mechanic (Hino Motor Yokohama):
We came to Rally Mongolia soon after we returned to Japan from the Silk Way Rally. These rallies gave us the opportunity to understand the structural differences of these trucks―Car 2 in the Silk Way Rally and Car 1 in Rally Mongolia―and ended up being a very meaningful rally experiences for me. At the Dakar Rally, we will have to service both trucks at the same time, so I intend to give it my best to build on this experience and make sure our servicing work goes smoothly.

Aiichiro Yamauchi, Mechanic (Hino Motor Toyama):
I was very happy that the HINO500 Series Car 1 reached the finish line with no major breakdowns. It was also very gratifying to hear Mr. Yoshimasa Sugawara say that he feels the suspension system is maturing well.

Ryota Shibutani, Mechanic (Hino Motor Kobe):
Our HINO500 Series truck sustained no major damage and we were able to carry out our servicing work very smoothly. We serviced Car 2 in the Silk Way Rally and Car1 in Rally Mongolia, and this gave us a good understanding of what to keep in mind. So I would like to build on this experience and give it my best at the Dakar Rally.

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