Race Report 1992
Top 10 finishes for all 4 trucks in 2nd year of Paris-Dakar Rally competition
1992 - PARIS-SIRTE-LE CAP
An especially harsh course was set up in the second year of challenge by EQUIPE CAMION HINO for an unprecedented transcontinental crossing of Africa from Paris to the finish line at the Cape of Good Hope. The adventurers pounced on the course as the wonders of nature went through breathtaking changes from bone-chilling Paris in mid-winter to merciless wind-swept deserts and scorching hot jungle at temperatures of over 40°C. The rally, which crossed the Equator, extended for a total distance actually of 13,000km. The unprecedented rally was challenged by four Hino Cruising Rangers as in the previous year and Yoshimasa Sugawara, Japan's first camion driver, was a new addition to the team.
Extensive improvements, based on data from the previous rally, were incorporated in the Rangers, decorated as they were in green, blue, yellow and red zebra stripes. Truck no.2 made strong gains from the start as it took over third place positioning. The Rangers continued to perform well as they ventured across desert areas and all four continued to clip along without any great problems while the camions of other teams met with difficulties.
As it moved perseveringly southward, the rally course went through a complete change as it approached the Equator. From midway on, the battle unfolded on the single roadway that cut through the jungle, a test of endurance as the teams sought to make their way through. Meanwhile, the Rangers exhibited their inherent flexibility with a vigorous drive that allowed them to finish 1-2 in the SS. However, the Rangers, which had been performing well, finally fell victim to the demon of the Paris-Dakar Rally. The second truck, which had been in fourth place, sustained a transmission breakdown. The team was unavoidably compelled to exchange transmissions with truck no.3, which was in a support role. Though truck no.2 was back on safe ground again, truck no.3 was forced to cross the finish line with a transmission with only the 1st and 6th gears functioning. Even so, Petit, the driver of truck no.3, demonstrated masterful driving skills, recording times that were essentially the same of the other three trucks using only the 1st and 6th speeds. Meanwhile, Sugawara recorded the best time in the final SS in an impressive showing in his first rally challenge. It seems that the other teams were also unable to conceal their surprise at the fast-paced evolution of the Ranger. The four zebra-striped trucks thus all arrived at the goal in Cape Town. Though left in the dust of the powerhouse Perlinis and Tatras, all four of the trucks finished in the top ten, demonstrating performance exceeding that of the previous year.
"TEAM EQUIPE CAMION HINO"
General supervisor: Takashi Suzuki
Coordinator: Toshiki Amano
Supervisor: Mitsuaki Hirai
1st truck: J-P. Josseau, Hideki Shibata
2nd truck: J-P. Reif, J. Deinhofer (Austria)
3rd truck: J. Petit, A. Dubak (Belgium)
4th truck: Yoshimasa Sugawara, Katsumi Hamura
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