[Topics / DAKAR] The Dakar 2010 Race Report (Stage 3)
January 4, La Rioja (Argentina) to Fiambala (Argentina)
Connection 259 km, SS 182 km, Connection 0 km, Total: 441 km
Both vehicles exhibited their real ability in the first dune.
Car 2 improved its rank from the 13th to 9th, and Car 1 achieved a breakthrough, moving from 24th to 13th.
The course on the 4th was from La Rioja to Fiambala. On this day, the 3rd day of the rally, the vehicles met with dunes; the real rally has begun. The two Hino 500 Series vehicles of Hino Team Sugawara that arrived at the bivouac point in La Rioja just before 10:00 p.m. last night, were inspected by the mechanics and they departed at high speed the following morning. They drove straight to the SS leading to Fiambala.
The SS for the day crossed the bottom of narrow waji (dry river beds) with fesh-fesh (very fine powdery sand), and then climbed a huge dune. At high altitude and in rising temperatures, many vehicles experienced overheating due to continued low-speed high-load driving. Although the water temperature of Car 2 of the Hino 500 Series vehicles also rose, it was driven carefully, stopped from time to time to refill the water; together with Car 1 following it with the same care, they both passed this difficult stage safely. Overcoming camber driving required along the mountain surfaces and dunes, Car 2 driven by Teruhito Sugawara/Seiichi Suzuki finished the relatively difficult stage 9th* in the overall Truck Division, 3rd in the Production Vehicle Division, and 2nd in the class with an engine displacement of below 10 liters. Car 1 driven by Yoshimasa Sugawara/Katsumi Hamura, came in 10th* in the overall Truck Division, 4th, and 3rd, respectively. Both cars performed energetically, showing the characteristics of the Hino 500 Series vehicles -- the more extreme the rally conditions, the greater they showed their potential. As a result, Car 2 pushed its overall result up to 9th* in the overall Truck Division, 2nd in the Production Vehicle Division, and 2nd in the class. Car 1 also achieved a breakthrough to 13th*, 4th, and 3rd. There is yet a long way to go, the future for these cars starts to look truly interesting.
They were set to enter Chile tomorrow, climbing over the Andes mountain range and crossing a 203 km SS to Copiapo over the Atacama Desert, the organizer changed the schedule to accommodate the many rally vehicles that did not arrive at the bivouac today. Although the altitude of Fiambala is also high (about 1,600 meters), the entrants are scheduled to go through the course at an altitude of over 4,000 meters, crossing the border to Chile. A severe rally battle in the high mountains suitable for the rally's location in South America awaits them tomorrow, with the initial stage of the SS set at an altitude of over 3,000 meters.
Yoshimasa Sugawara (Car 1 Driver)
Many vehicles got stuck today. Our vehicles responded so well when we started driving in the dunes. We haven't experienced such an "exciting" stage for a while.
Katsumi Hamura (Car 1 Navigator)
I had a really bad headache due to the lack of oxygen when we drove at an altitude of over 2,000 meters yesterday. However, I did not feel bad at all today. Perhaps I have gotten adjusted to the altitude. I did not like the points set up in dangerous places along the course, but there was no problem with the navigation itself.
Teruhito Sugawara (Car 2 Driver)
The altitude reached 3,200 meters when we drove up the dunes just before the CP 1 (Check Point 1). Water temperature increase cannot be helped in such a condition; however, our vehicle did well, as we did not cause its engine to overheat.
Seiichi Suzuki (Car 2 Navigator)
Today, in sand deeper than what we anticipated as the rear bumper got dented. We reduced the tire pressure to 1.2 kg. We did not have any problem other than that.
*The rankings at the time when the report was written might be adjusted afterwards.
Refer to the latest ranking list.
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|The two Hino 500 Series vehicles receiving the service together at the bivouac in Fiambala.|
|The Sugawara father and son talking about today's stage.|
|Nakano and Yamazaki mechanics discussing the service work.|
|La Rioja (Argentina) to Fiambala (Argentina)|