Race Report 1994

Crossing the "sand dunes of death" to become Japan's first runner-up in the Camion class!


There were less than 200 vehicles that participated in the 1993 Paris-Dakar Rally. Passage though Algeria was rendered impossible due to political unrest and it was thought to be difficult to restore the essential adventurous nature of the rally. The person singled out to promote the revitalization of the rally was a man by the name of Fenouil, who had been familiar with the Paris-Dakar Rally since it was first established. He always had an outpouring of ideas when things provided to be difficult and his response was this Paris-Dakar-Paris rally. It was literally a course that went from Paris to Dakar and then returned again to Paris, an entirely new sort of contest with a running distance of some 13,000km.

The route running south along the African coastline had a relatively low degree of difficulty as he had stated since that it would make it possible to gain a few more entries as far as Dakar but there were many stages with rocky stretches and rival machines confronted problems one after the other. Among them, the Hino Cruising Ranger, under the direction again that year by the private outfit TEAM LONE WOLF & CUB HINO, moved ahead without hindrance as it gradually improved its standing, achieving a third place position upon reaching Dakar.

The sand dunes made their appearance in the latter half. Crossing the area known as the "sand dunes of death" on January 9, in particular, was so tough that no one was able to reach the camp site, an unprecedented occurrence that led to its cancellation. The Ranger too, while wrestling with the sand dunes, overcame them through cool-headed decisions and jumped ahead to second place. It also managed to keep this position later and, completing the Africa stages, returned once again to Europe.

While holding back the persistent Perlini in the Europe stage, it made it to the goal line at Euro Disney in second place following the Tatra. It was the first Japanese truck to achieve a victory in the Camion class.


1st truck: Yoshimasa Sugawara, Katsumi Hamura, Hideki Shibata
Air mechanics: Jiro Kameda and Yoshimitsu Yaguchi

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Rank Number Driver Vehicle
1 401 Loprais Tatra
2 400 Yoshimasa Sugawara Hino Ranger
3 405 Marby Perlini
4 411 Kies DAF
5 409 Bowle Mercedes
6 404 Meij Perlini
7 424 Kaket Mercedes
8 429 Zomet Scania

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