October 23, 2014

Hino Motors to Enter Two HINO500 Series Trucks in Dakar Rally 2015

-- Trucks get power upgrades, team enhances capabilities as it aims for high rankings in the overall Trucks category --

Hino Motors, Ltd. (Hino) will be teaming up with Team Sugawara, led by Yoshimasa Sugawara, to enter two HINO500 Series trucks in the Trucks category of Dakar Rally 2015 as HINO TEAM SUGAWARA. The rally is scheduled to start on January 3rd, 2015, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In response to what has become an increasingly speed-oriented race, the team has been phasing in power upgrades by increasing the displacement of its trucks’ engines. In the 2014 rally, the team achieved good results by mounting Car 1 with an A09C engine, an engine with 1 liter greater displacement than the J08C engines used in the past. Car 2 will also be powered by this engine for the 2015 rally, as well as receiving upgrades to its exhaust system to realize further power enhancements. Both trucks have also received front and rear suspension upgrades to improve road surface tracking performance as the team aims to improve the trucks’ speed over rough surfaces.

The team will also be taking steps to improve its team capabilities. First, an additional navigator will be assigned to Car 1, driven by Yoshimasa Sugawara. The total of two navigators is expected to reduce the crew’s workload and improve racing performance. Second, with mechanics playing a critical supporting role in the race, the number of mechanics chosen from among Hino dealers nationwide has also been increased by one. This year one mechanic has been chosen from each of Hakodate Hino Motor, Tokyo Hino Motor, Yokohama Hino Motor and Hiroshima Hino Motor. Additionally, one mechanic from Hino’s Vehicle Planning & Production Engineering Division and an engineer from the Engine Engineering Division will be joining the team—both returnees from the previous year—as part of the team’s strategy for improving its overall capabilities by drawing in as many rally veterans as possible. Through these efforts, the team aims to win its sixth straight championship in the Under 10-litre Class, and finish with a high ranking in the overall Trucks category.

By continuing to race in the world’s top rally, Hino hopes to share in the excitement of motor sport fans around the world, and build a stronger Hino brand overall.

1. Team organization

●Driver and Navigator

Yoshimasa Sugawara
Team director and driver of Car 1
Chairman, Japan Racing Management Co., Ltd.
Born on May 31, 1941 in Otaru, Hokkaido, age 73

(Racing history)
- Record 20 consecutive finishes in the Dakar Rally.
- Record 32 consecutive entries in the Dakar Rally (ongoing)
- First to enter all categories in the Dakar Rally. (Bikes, Cars, and Trucks)
- Six Overall 2nd place finishes in the Trucks category. Seven class championship in the Under 10-litre Class
- 95% finish rate in the Trucks category (21 races finished out of 22 entered)

Katsumi Hamura
Navigator of Car 1
President, Just Speed
Born on September 3,1966 in Musashino, Tokyo, age 48
Hamura has navigated for Yoshimasa Sugawara for a total of 13 times* since he first navigated in the Dakar Rally 1992.
* 1992, 1994-1997, 2005-2010, and 2013-2014

Yoko Wakabayashi
Navigator of Car 1
Editorial Dept. of ahead car and motorcycle magazine, Resonance Co., Ltd.
Born on February 10, 1971 in Osaka, Osaka, age 43
Wakabayashi participated in four Rally Mongolia races from 2009 to 2012. In 2010, she entered and finished Rally Mongolia as a driver on a Jimny Sierra 1300 fabricated by Yoshimasa Sugawara and navigated by Reiko Miyoshi. In 2011, she navigated for Yoshimasa Sugawara and won the class championship. In 2015, she enters Dakar Rally for the first time.

Teruhito Sugawara
Driver of Car 2
President, Japan Racing Management Co., Ltd.
Born on July 13, 1972 in Minato-ku, Tokyo, age 42

(Racing history)
- 1998: Participated in the Dakar Rally as a mechanic.
- 1999: Participated in the Dakar Rally as a navigator.
- 2003: Entered the Egypt Pharaoh Rally as a driver, and won the overall championship in the Trucks category (a first for a Japanese driver)
- 2005: Entered the Dakar Rally as a driver.
- 2014: Won his 5th consecutive championship in the Under 10-litre Class.

Hiroyuki Sugiura
Navigator of Car 2
Japan Racing Management Co., Ltd.
Born on May 6, 1984 in Kita-ku, Tokyo, age 30
- 2009: Entered the Dakar Rally as assistant driver, and Rally Mongolia as navigator.
- 2011: Entered the Dakar Rally as navigator


Seiichi Suzuki
Mechanic leader
Japan Racing Management Co., Ltd.
Born on January 30, 1961 in Minato-ku, Tokyo, age 53
Suzuki has participated in a large number of international rallies as both navigator and mechanic.
(19 times in the Dakar Rally, 7 in the Rally Mongolia, twice in the Egypt Pharaoh Rally, and once in the Australian Safari)

Takeshi Suenaga
Mechanic sub-leader
Vehicle Planning & Production Engineering Div., Hino Motors
Born on February 14, 1978, in Hioki, Kagoshima, age 36
Ever since he joined the company in 1996, Suenaga has worked in prototyping-a critical process for developing production vehicles-and is one of the many individuals who have been instrumental in the manufacture of the diverse range of commercial vehicles at Hino. In 2014, he entered Dakar Rally for the first time.

Hironaga Hayashi
Hakodate Hino Motor, Ltd.
Born on March 1, 1976 in Hakodate, Hokkaido, age 38

Shunsuke Sugawara
Tokyo Hino Motor, Ltd.
Born on January 10, 1983 in Nishiiwai, Iwate, age 31

Hiroya Fukuno
Yokohama Hino Motor, Ltd.
Born on November 17, 1984 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, age 29

Takashi Masuda
Hiroshima Hino Motor, Ltd.
Born on March 30, 1982, Shobara, Hiroshima, age32


Katsuyuki Nagoshi
Engine Engineering Div., Hino Motors
Born on June 4, 1970 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, age 44
Nagoshi joined the Dakar Rally project in 2012. In the Dakar Rally 2014, he was tuning the computers on both of the trucks’ engines.

2. Data of HINO500 Series Trucks to be Entered in the Dakar Rally 2015

  Car 1 Car 2
Vehicle name HINO500 Series GT
Gross weight 7,600kg
Length 6,290mm 6,370mm
Width 2,500mm
Height 3,150mm
Wheelbase 3,890mm 3,970mm
Rear body Tube frame and tarpaulin mounted on mainframe
Engine model A09C-TI (turbo with intercooler)
Engine type Diesel 4 cycle In-line 6 cylinders
Displacement 8.866L
Maximum outout / rpm 630PS [463.4kW]/2,200rpm
Maximum torque / rpm 230kgf・m [2255.5N・m]/1,200rpm
Fuel injection system Electronically-controlled fuel injection (common rail)
Fuel tank capacity 700L
●Drive system  
Drive type Part time four wheel drive, differential lock with front and rear Full time four wheel drive, differential lock with front and rear
Clutch φ430mm single plate
Transmission 6-speed direct drive with secondary transmission
Transfer 2-speed (Hi-Lo)
Axle Hub reduction axle
Spring Taper leaf suspension
Shock absorbers Coil-over twin shock absorbers *One of two shock absorbers equipped on each wheel
Brake Ventilated disc brake with opposing 4-pot calipers
Tire Michelin XZL 14.00R20
Wheel Forged aluminum wheel
Central Tire Inflation System 4-wheel independent control
Steering Ball nut type (integral-type power steering)

The HINO500 Series trucks that will be racing in Dakar Rally 2015. (Left: Car 1; right: Car 2)

Newly developed isometric (equal-length) exhaust manifolds

The new intake manifolds have larger intake openings.

Taper leaf suspension (front)

Taper leaf suspension (rear)


1. About Dakar Rally 2015

Dakar Rally 2015 will start off on January 3 in Buenos Aires, from whence contestants will travel through Chile and Bolivia, and then back to the finish line in Buenos Aires two weeks later on January 17. This huge loop course is highly reminiscent of the course designed for Dakar Rally 2009, the first to be held in South America.

Racing out of the start in Buenos Aires, contestants take a westward route climbing gradually toward the Andes Mountains, which will slowly begin to challenge both the racers and their vehicles. The terrain will transition from dusty tracks on hard rock to switchback mountain roads, whose surfaces are a mixture of rocks and sand. Once over the Andes Mountains-which at some points take the contestants to elevations of 4,500m-the contestants enter Chile, where they head north toward Iquique, near Chile’s border with Peru. En route, the massive sand dunes in the Atacama Desert-which by some accounts is the driest place on the planet-will prove to be formidable obstacles for the contestants. This year, vehicles in the truck and car categories-classes of vehicles that provide superior terrain-crossing performance compared to motorbikes and quads-will split from the motorbikes and quads while they have their rest day on January 10 in Iquique, racing toward the Uyuni Salt Flats on the east side of the Andes Mountains in Bolivia for the first time in the history of the Dakar Rally. There, these two categories will race a marathon stage where they will not be allowed to receive any servicing support, then return to Iquique for their own rest day on January 12. With two Andes crossings and vast deserts challenging the contestants, the highlight of the 2015 race may very well come in its first half.

After thorough servicing on the rest day, contestants will be ready to take on the Andes Mountains in the second half. Once over the Andes, the rally will dive through twisty high-speed courses-similar to those seen at the World Rally Championship (WRC) -as the contestants make their way toward the finish line in Buenos Aires. With the first half of the race pushing through tough courses that challenge the endurance of both the vehicles and their crews, and the second half expected to be a race of survival where the slightest lapse in attention can lead to a major crash, Dakar Rally 2015 should once again prove that this is the “world’s most grueling race.”


In 1991, HINO became the first Japanese truck maker to enter the Dakar Rally. And ever since, HINO has finished in all 21 Dakar races in which it has taken part - a race that is considered to be the most grueling in the world. For example, in one particular race, only 20.5% of the contestants were able to finish; a record low for any race. HINO won second place overall in the camion (truck) category in 1994 and was runner-up in 1995 as well. In 1997, HINO surprised the world, becoming the first team to make a 1-2-3 sweep in the camion category. Since then, HINO has been runner-up for 3 years and is till going strong as one of the top teams in the category. Additionally, HINO won for 7 consecutive years (1996-2002) in the category's 10-litre or smaller class. While this class was abolished thereafter for two years, after being reinstated in 2005, HINO won in 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Over all Trucks Division: Winner 1 time(1997), 2nd 5 times(1994, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2005)
Under 10-liter Category: Winner 14 times of 15 races in this category

No. of Entries Rally Year Route Total Distance(km) Result of Truck Division
(under 10-liter class)
23 2014 Rosario - Salta - Valparaiso 9,209 Car 2: 12th (Winner)
Car 1: 32nd
22 2013 Lima - Antofagasta - Santiago 8,121 Car 2: 19th (Winner)
Car 1: 31st
21 2012 Buenos Aires - Copiapó - Lima 8,836 Car 2: 9th (Winner)
Car 1: 24th
20 2011 Buenos Aires - Alica - Buenos Aires 9,458 Car 2: 9th (Winner)
Car 1: 13th
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
Canceled 2008 - - -
17 2007 Lisbon - Dakar 7,915 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