Hino Motors to Enter its New Racing Truck in the Dakar Rally 2012
-- Team aims to finish at a high ranking overall and achieve a 3-year winning streak in the Under 10-liter category --
Hino Motors, Ltd. (Hino) has teamed with Team Sugawara lead by Yoshimasa Sugawara to form HINO TEAM SUGAWARA to enter two HINO 500 Series trucks in the Trucks category of the Dakar Rally 2012, which is scheduled to start at Mar del Plata, Argentina, on January 1, 2012.
Hino, which marked its 20th consecutive finish in the 2011 Rally,*1 is poised to make the 2012 Rally a new chapter in its history with its introduction of a new racing truck—the first new truck in eight years since the last renewal in 2004. The team will be competing this year in the Modified Trucks category, and not the Series Production Trucks category in which it has raced in previous years, and aims to achieve high rankings overall and a 3-year winning streak in the Under 10-liter category. The new racing truck will be based on the latest in a line of production trucks that have a solid reputation for durability, and it will be incorporated with Team Sugawara's know-how in the area of fabricating rally vehicles.
The trucks will be driven by father and son, Yoshimasa Sugawara and Teruhito Sugawara.
At 70 years of age, Yoshimasa Sugawara, who continues to rewrite his record for most consecutive entries in the rally,*2 will again be taking on what is often coined “the world's most grueling race.” His second son, Teruhito Sugawara (age 39), aims to achieve a 3-year winning streak in the Under 10-liter category which will be a personal record for himself as well.
The mechanics who will be supporting the race have been selected from among mechanics who applied from Hino dealerships nationwide. There will be four mechanics on the team, one each from Miyagi Hino, Tokyo Hino, Aichi Hino, and Hiroshima Hino.
By continuing to race in the world's top rally, Hino hopes to share the excitement created by Japanese vitality with motor sports fans around the world, and we aim to build the Hino brand.
*1: Twenty years since 1991, as the 2008 race was canceled due to political instability
*2: Twenty-eight races from 1983 to 2011, excluding 2008 when the race was canceled
Dakar Rally 2011 race truck
Dakar Rally 2012 new racing truck
1. The Dakar Rally 2012
The Dakar Rally is a rally with a long history—the first of which was held in 1979 making the 2012 race the 34th (the 2008 race was canceled)—and is considered to be the top cross-country rally. This time in 2012, the rally will wind through Peru in addition to Argentina and Chile where the previous rally was held. Starting from Mar del Plata in Argentina, Sunday, Jan. 1, contestants will head north along the Chilean border, cross the Andes Mountains at Fiambala, and cross the border into Chile. The racers will take a rest day on Sunday, Jan. 8, in Copiapo where miners were miraculously rescued from a mine cave-in accident. The contestants will then race through the most grueling section of the year's rally, the Atacama Desert, which is said to be the driest location on earth, and then enter Peru. The racers will then pass the Nazca Plains that are famous for the Nazca Lines, then go through terrain with a diverse mixture of dunes, river crossings, mountains, and stony desert, and finally reach the finish line at Lima on Sunday, Jan. 15. Over the 15 days of the race, the contestants will travel a distance of approx. 10,000 km. This will be a race that will take the participants and their vehicles to their limits.
2. The new racing truck
The new racing truck is based on a 4-wheel drive version of the HINO 500 Series, Hino's line of medium duty trucks. The truck was developed not only to dramatically outperform its rivals in the Under 10-liter category, but also to achieve high rankings in the overall Trucks category, where it has to compete against larger trucks.
One of the themes for the development of this truck was to improve its mobile performance. To this end, the frame was fully revamped with a wider assembly width to enhance the body's torsional rigidity. Additionally, in order to bring the heavy components as close as possible to the truck's center of gravity, its engine, which would normally be located under the cabin in a production truck, was relocated lower down towards the back to create a mid-engine layout with a low center of gravity. This truck also sports a cab that is shorter than the previous full cab to reduce weight. As for the rear body, its bridging joist construction (sub-frame) was eliminated and panels were replaced with a lightweight tarpaulin. Consequently, the team has successfully reduced the truck's weight by 250kg compared to the previous model. In addition, the front-rear brake balance was also retuned to improve brake performance.
Another theme was improving cooling performance. Having relocated from Africa to South America, the Dakar Rally contestants must now tackle terrain such as powder sand dunes and steep gradients where they face larger driving resistance and higher temperatures. The new racing truck features an aluminum radiator that delivers excellent cooling performance. Because of the increased distance between the radiator and cooling fan due to employing a mid-engine layout, the space between the two is now connected by a shroud. The intercooler was relocated from its usual position at the front to the front-top area of the rear body. The team could improve the cooling performance by spacing the radiator and intercooler further away from each other, allowing them to directly gather wind as the truck speeds along. The effects of these improvements have already been confirmed at the Rally Mongolia 2011 (August 8-15, started and finished at Ulan Bator). The new racing truck will be piloted by Teruhito Sugawara.
The truck to be driven by Yoshimasa Sugawara is based on that which Teruhito Sugawara drove to a category victory the previous year. The truck has shed approx. 200kg of weight through modifications such as replacing the outer panels of the rear body with dry carbon panels, and additional weight reduction measures carried out around the cab. Additionally, the oil cooler was relocated to the front-top area of the rear body to improve its cooling and overall racing performance.
3. HINO TEAM SUGAWARA
Hino entered the Dakar Rally in 1991 as the first Japanese truck manufacturer to enter the race with Yoshimasa Sugawara. We have worked with Team Sugawara led by Yoshimasa Sugawara from the very beginning. Hino won second place overall in the truck division in 1994 and was runner-up in 1995 as well. The team enhanced its organization to achieve its goal of winning the overall championship, and in 1997 became the first in the truck division to achieve the amazing feat of dominating the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in the overall truck division (no other competitor has achieved a complete victory to this day). Followed by 3 more overall 2nd place finishes in subsequent years, our team continued to race as one of the top teams, and won 7 consecutive championships in the under 10-litre class which was classified between 1996 and 2002. Although this class was not implemented for the years 2003, 2004, and 2006, our team continued to win championships in 2005, 2007, 2010, and 2011.
1) ResultOver all Trucks Division: Winner (1997), 2nd (1994, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2005)
Under 10-liter Category: Winner 11th times
|No. of Entries||Rally Year||Route||Total Distance(km)||Vehicle||Result
(Truck Division / under 10-liter category)
|20||2011||Buenos Aires - Alica - Buenos Aires||9,458||Hino 500 series||Car 2: 9th (Winner), Car 1: 13th (2nd)|
|19||2010||Buenos Aires - Antofagasta - Buenos Aires||9,026||Car 2: 7th (Winner)
Car 1: Sidelined due to regulations
|18||2009||Buenos Aires - Valparaiso - Buenos Aires||9,579||14th (2nd*), 26th|
|17||2007||Lisbon - Dakar||7,915||Hino 500 series||9th (Winner), 13th|
|16||2006||Lisbon - Dakar||9,043||5th, 7th (n.a.)|
|15||2005||Barcelona - Dakar||8,956||2nd (Winner), 6th|
|14||2004||Clermont-Ferrand - Dakar||10,411||5th (n.a.)|
|13||2003||Marseille - Sharm El Sheikh||8,602||5th (n.a.)|
|12||2002||Arras - Madrid - Dakar||9,440||3rd (Winner)
7th consecutive victory in this class
|11||2001||Paris - Dakar||10,873||2nd (Winner)|
|10||2000||Paris - Dakar - Cairo||7,880||5th (Winner)|
|9||1999||Granada - Dakar||9,441||4th (Winner)|
|8||1998||Paris - Granada - Dakar||10,570||2nd (Winner)|
|7||1997||Dakar - Agades - Dakar||8,051||Winner (Winner), 2nd (2nd), 3rd (3rd)
First dominant victory recorded in the Truck Division
|6||1996||Granada - Dakar||7,579||6th (Winner), 11th (2nd)|
|5||1995||Granada - Dakar||10,067||2nd (n.a.)|
|4||1994||Paris - Dakar||13,398||2nd (n.a.)|
|3||1993||Paris - Dakar||8,877||6th (n.a.)|
|2||1992||Paris - Sirte - Cape Town||13,015||4th, 5th, 6th, 10th (n.a.)|
|1||1991||Paris - Tripoli - Dakar||9,186||7th, 10th, 14th (n.a.)
The first entrant from among all the Japanese truck manufacturers
2) Team Members
|Yoshimasa Sugawara: Team director and driver of Car 1
Director and chairman of the Japan Racing Management Co., Ltd.
Born on May 31, 1941 (age 70) in Otaru, Hokkaido.
- A record 20 consecutive finishes at the Dakar Rally.
- A record 28 entries (and counting) in the Dakar Rally - The only Japanese racer to have raced in all categories (Bike, quad, car, and truck)
- Six-time overall 2nd place finishes in the truck division. Seven-time champions in the under 10-litre class.
- Finish percentage in the truck division: 94% (18 out of 19 entries)
Teruhito Sugawara: Driver of Car 2
|Hiroyuki Sugiura: Navigator, Car 1
Member of the Japan Racing Management Co., Ltd.
Born on May 6, 1984 (age 27) in Kita-ku, Tokyo.
- 2010: Took part in the Dakar Rally as a driver of an assistant vehicle. Took part in the Rally Mongolia as the navigator for Yoshimasa Sugawara.
- 2011: Took part as a navigator in the Dakar Rally 2011.
|Seiichi Suzuki: Navigator, Car 2
Member of the Japan Racing Management Co., Ltd.
Born on January 30, 1961 (age 50) in Minato-ku, Tokyo.
- Has taken part in numerous international rallies as navigator or mechanic. (16 Dakar Rallies, 7 Rallies Mongolia, 2 Pharaons Rallies, and 1 Australasian Safari)
|(3) Mechanics (Selected from among Hino group mechanics through a stringent screening process conducted by HINO TEAM SUGAWARA)|
|Naoya Nakano, mechanics leader
Hiroshima Hino Motors, Ltd.
Born on November 21, 1972 (age 38) in Hiroshima, Hiroshima
This will be his second race following the Dakar Rally 2010. During the 2010 race, he experienced one of the two trucks withdrawing from the race midway. This time, he will be instrumental in leading the team to a high ranking.
Miyagi Hino Motors, Ltd.
Born on September 29, 1974 (age 37) in Toda-gun, Miyagi
He has earned this coveted position in the team on his fourth application. Having been through the Great East Japan Earthquake, he is committed to giving his all to this race. He has the longest experience, 18 years, as a mechanic in the team.
Tokyo Hino Motors, Ltd.
Born on August 9, 1980 (age 31), in Kashiwa, Chiba
He is the youngest in the team. Masahiro Nakata was inspired by a speech by Yoshimasa Sugawara as well as his seniors who have taken part in the race, and is now happy to have joined the team himself.