Race Report 1998
TEAM SUGAWARA with the Hino Raising Ranger take 2nd place!
1998 - PARIS-GRANADA-DAKAR
The Hino Raising Ranger, which the year before acheved the prodigious and unprecedented feat of winning first, second and third places overall in the Camion class of the Paris-Dakar Rally, challenged the 1998 Paris-Dakar Rally with a private outfit lead by the TEAM SUGAWARA. Team members again included Yoshimasa Sugawara at the wheel of the Ranger with Naoko Matsumoto and Nao Ushioda in charge of navigation. They were furthermore accompanied by two mechanics, Seiichi Suzuki and Teruhito Sugawara. Given the fact that it was the 20th anniversary of the event, it was set up on a conventional route starting in Paris and ending in Dakar for the first time in a while.
The Ranger, with the number 400, the top number in the Camion class, departed from in front of the Palace of Versailles leading the Camion pack on January 1. Though the lead was taken in the early phase by large-displacement Mitsubishis, Tatras and Kamazes, it gradually improved its positioning in the desert area with tough driving conditions and, overcoming the difficult stage on January 8, emerged in third place in the Camion division. On the ninth the following day, the conditions were again severe with vehicles dropping out of the competition one after the other while the Ranger moved up one more rank into second place.
Though stages with a high degree of difficulty continued after the start of the latter half, the Ranger exhibited dynamic running power taking the top spot in the SS in Stage 3 and bolted forward with great vigor, catching up with the Loprais Tatra team at the lead. Then, on January 18, it arrived at the goal in Lac Rose in Dakar in second place overall. There were only eight vehicles in the Camion class in the event that year that completed the course, a rate of 20%, giving an indication of the severity.
1st truck: Yoshimasa Sugawara, Nao Ushioda, Naoko Matsumoto
Air mechanics: Seiichi Suzuki, Teruhito Sugawara
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