[Topics / DAKAR] The Dakar 2010 Race Report (Stage 8)
January 10, Antofagasta (Chile) - Copiapo (Chile)
Connection 96km, SS 472km, Connection 0km, Total: 568km
Car 2 achieved a breakthrough to top place in the Production Vehicle Division.
Car 1 also kept its position by steadily driving the course.
On the 10th of January, the Dakar 2010 held a 472 km SS for the first day of the latter half of the rally between Antofagasta and Copiapo. The vehicles first drove once again up hills over 2,000 meters high, then drove a difficult course of roads covered with fesh-fesh (very fine powdery sand) that generated huge dust clouds whenever vehicles passed, and whose deep ruts posed a great risk of damage to the vehicles. In the latter part of the course, near Copiapo, the road surfaces changed to sand. The vehicles had to drive over a huge dune mountain at the end to reach the goal near the bivouac.
Hino Team Sugawara drove extremely comfortably, exhibiting the full mobility of the Hino 500 Series vehicles; Car 2 driven by Teruhito Sugawara/Seiichi Suzuki, reached the goal 7th in the overall Truck Division, 1st in the Production Vehicle Division and 1st in the class with an engine displacement of below 10 liters. As the J. Elfrink team (Mercedes Benz Axor), running top in the Production Vehicle Division and the class with an engine displacement of below 10 liters until January 8th, got stuck and was substantially delayed, Car 2 was able to come in 6th in the overall Truck Division, 1st in the Production Vehicle Division and 1st in the class with an engine displacement of below 10 liters, based on cumulative results up to this date. Notwithstanding the fact that Car 1, driven by Yoshimasa Sugawara/Katsumi Hamura, had a flat tire at the beginning and spent 28 minutes repairing it, it drove steadily and firmly over the SS, finishing the day in 13th in the overall Truck Division, 4th, and 2nd, respectively. The overall result was 10th, 3rd, and 3rd.
Although a 338 km SS is scheduled from Copiapo to La Serena on the 11th, as fog tends to form in the morning around the Copiapo region, making it difficult to fly a helicopter to track the entrants' courses and provide emergency medical support, the organizers decided and announced to reduce the SS to CP2 (Check Point 2) to cover only 178 km, delaying the start time. Although this was a disappointing decision for the Hino 500 Series vehicles which exhibit high potential under stringent conditions, it may not make much difference. Although the overall distance was shortened, the course includes difficult dune regions around Copiapo and is still considered to be one of the climax stages of this rally.
Yoshimasa Sugawara (Car 1 Driver)
We spent time repairing a flat tire, but we drove through the remaining part of the course patiently at our own pace. It was great that Car 2 came in No. 1 in the Production Vehicle Division as well as in its class. Although we still have a long way to go, we will exhibit our full power to reach the goal in Buenos Aires.
Katsumi Hamura (Car 1 Navigator)
Although it was a long day, it was good that we were able to cross the last dune before dark. We felt that we passed a difficult course, where the navigation was also quite difficult. However, we were also stuck by the beauty of rapidly changing landscapes.
Teruhito Sugawara (Car 2 Driver)
There were many dangerous stages for trucks as we also had to experience a reverse camber. We overtook the top Mercedes which had overtaken us before; and while we both are aiming at top position in the Production Vehicle Division and in the class with an engine displacement of below 10 liters, today they lagged behind drastically while we maintained our own pace. We were relieved to come out in first place in the class with an engine displacement of below 10 liters ? we are in good position to attain our important target.
Seiichi Suzuki (Car 2 Navigator)
We decided to change the transmission on the way just to be on the safe side, as although it was clean, Car 2's bearings started to make noise driving in 3rd gear. The vehicle had no problem other than that. We can take more time servicing the vehicles as the start time for tomorrow has now been delayed.
(The rankings in parentheses are in the class with an engine displacement of below 10 liters.)
*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 Hino 500 Series vehicles receiving inspection and service at the bivouac in Copiapo.|
|Car 2 having its transmission changed just to be on the safe side.|
|Car 2 speeding along the wheel ruts in the dune.|
|Antofagasta (Chile) - Copiapo (Chile)|