[Topics / DAKAR] The Dakar 2010 Race Report (Stage 1)
The rally at long last has started in earnest.
The performance of the new shock absorbers were far better than what we anticipated.
January 2 Colon (Argentina) - Cordoba (Argentina)
Connection 349 km, SS 251 km, Connection 84 km, Total: 684 km
The Dakar rally started for real today, following yesterday's grand Starting Ceremony. The first SS was set between Colon and Cordoba. The SS, that will continue for two days and that marks the early stages of the rally, was drawn over mostly unpaved roads (referred to as “piste”) across grass plains (known as “pampas”) in the La Pampa region. As overtaking other vehicles was deemed risky due to heavy clouds of dust, different routes were established for the Motorcycles to separate them from the Cars and Trucks, and the Trucks were slated to start after the Car Division entrants. For that reason, the Trucks all arrived at the bivouac late, and the two Hino 500 Series vehicles of Hino Team Sugawara arrived after 8:00 p.m. Already many vehicles fell, rolled over, or stopped by mechanical troubles on the way in this SS, due to the rather narrow pistes set up for the Trucks. When the road 3 km from the Check Point was blocked by two Trucks that rolled over at the same spot, the Hino 500 Series vehicles that came from behind had to wait at that point. As Car 2 had to wait for approximately 25 minutes, and Car 1, 10 minutes, Car 2 came in 15th in the overall Truck Division, 5th in the Production Vehicle Division, and 3rd in the class with an engine displacement of below 10 liters. Car 1 exercising extra caution at the beginning of the rally, finished the day in 21st* place in the overall Truck Division, and in 11th and 5th, respectively. It is still uncertain at this moment whether or not the time that they had to wait in this SS would be subtracted from the overall rally result. In any case, this incident was in a way regrettable; but there is a good chance, at the same time, that the waiting time will be subtracted, giving them a time similar to that of the top entrant.
Although the bivouac in the parking area of the exhibition center in the suburb of the City of Cordoba, the second largest city in Argentina, experienced a fine weather with an ambient temperature easily exceeding 30 degrees Celsius in the daytime, it became rather comfortable as it cooled down toward evening. The 5 mechanics, who have long awaited this moment, quickly began working on the vehicles when the rally vehicles arrived at the bivouac.
Yoshimasa Sugawara (Car 1 Driver)
This was just a warm-up. The new shock absorbers are amazingly good, and the shift with its assist mechanism is also great. We are having an exhilarating rally so far. There were some upsets the first day, due to the two Trucks that rolled over, with their bellies facing upwards.
Katsumi Hamura (Car 1 Navigator)
There was nothing difficult in today's course for the navigator. Although I felt tense as we were driving in a rally after an interval of one whole year, I greatly enjoyed it.
Teruhito Sugawara (Car 2 Driver)
As there were many areas where big stones mixed with muddy road surfaces, I felt as if I was driving in Mongolia. Although I am concerned how the waiting time of approximately 25 minutes will be handled, as overall conditions were better than we anticipated, we are looking forward to the race from now on.
Seiichi Suzuki (Car 2 Navigator)
We are thinking of adjusting the shock absorbers a little more tightly. The new differential has been checked by using oil, and it seems that there is no problem. We are off to a good start.
Car 2 arriving at the bivouac.
Teruhito Sugawara drove hard to end up in 15th on the first day.
Yoshimasa Sugawara smiled with relief arriving at the bivouac.
The Hino mechanics instantly setting to work on the Hino 500 Series vehicles on their arrival.
Colon (Argentina) to Cordoba (Argentina)
|RANKING TRUCK (SS)|
*The rankings at the time when the report was written might be adjusted afterwards.
Refer to the latest ranking list.
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