Stage 4 : Car 1 performs well and finishes 12th in this stage of fesh-fesh and rocks. Car 2 is excluded from awards but has returned to the course.

Jan 10, 2020


Car 1 is shrouded in a cloud of sand and dust.


Car 2 is back on course.

Stage 4 of Dakar Rally 2020 was held from Neom to Al Ula. A 453 km SS (timed section) was set for this stage, and HINO TEAM SUGAWARA's Car 1 crewed by Teruhito Sugawara/Hirokazu Somemiya/Yuji Mochizuki finished 12th in the trucks category and maintained their 13th place in accumulated rankings.
Car 2 piloted by the Ikuo Hanawa/Yudai Hanawa/Mayumi Kezuka crew―which, due to a problem during the SS on Jan 6 (stage 2), returned to the bivouac with assistance from their mechanics―was repaired by Jan 7. And although the truck was not allowed to continue the competition, it returned to the course under the organizer's "Dakar Experience" program for racers who have been excluded from position rankings or awards.

This day's stage took racers on a 123 km liaison from Neom on the Red Sea coast, first traveling southward and then inland where they started on a 453 km SS. Weaving through intermountain areas of 2,000 m class mountains, this course took contestants to altitudes of between 1,200 and 1,500 meters. The first half mainly consisted of sandy ground, but things changed after the halfway area where teams tackled risky road surfaces with fesh-fesh (surface made of sedimentation of fine powder-like sand) under which countless rocks lay hidden. Not only did these conditions make for an uncomfortable ride, the latter part of the stage kept racers from driving any faster than 10-20 km/h as they struggled to avoid the huge rocks in the area, making this day a test of perseverance for crews. Thanks to the performance of its carefully tuned shock absorbers, Car 1 put in a great performance in the SS which transitioned from high-speed piste (unpaved road) in the early sections to wadi (dried river beds) and twisty roads. While the truck suffered a puncture on its rear-left tire in the last part of the stage from a cut caused by a rock, it finished the rest of the SS without a hitch. Just before this incident, Car 1 had stopped on course to aid a bike racer who had crashed, but this had no effect on Car 1's racing time as the organizer offset the duration of time that the crew was involved in helping out the biker.

Teruhito Sugawara (Driver, Car 1)
The road book showed smooth road surfaces all the way where we could pick up speed, but the roads were actually quite terrible to the point that they could have caused serious vehicle damage. The SS was divided into three parts. The first part was very dusty, the next was high-speed, and the third part had a lot of rocky ground where we couldn't pick up speed. The road got worse the further we went. There was a stretch of several tens of km where the ground was just covered with rocks and we saw many vehicles who had flatted their tires. Since we've had to change our tires a few times already during the race, we are seeing the benefits of having a three-person crew. I'm looking forward to the dunes tomorrow.

Hirokazu Somemiya (Navigator, Car 1)
This was the toughest course in the last four days for both the truck and crew. We had no navigation problems. We punctured a tire once and I'm glad that we were able to act quickly.

Yuji Mochizuki (Navigator, Car 1)
This was the toughest SS so far but, other than the tire puncture, everything went well. Riding comfort is better now that we've tuned the shock absorbers, and I think it would have been tough driving over the rocky areas today without them tuned. Things are getting tougher by the day, but I'm in good physical condition.

Ikuo Hanawa (Driver, Car 2)
Thanks to our mechanics' repairs, the truck is doing great. While we were up against a difficult section today after our brief hiatus, we were able to drive quite well without any errors or problems. The best way to develop a rally vehicle is to actually race it rather than perform tests on it over and over again. Even today, we were able to identify areas in AT control and front stabilizer specs that we could improve. I am going to test out a variety of modes of driving for future reference.

Yudai Hanawa (Navigator, Car 2)
The course was just brutal today and the physical strain on my body was intense. I will rest well tonight for tomorrow.

Mayumi Kezuka (Navigator, Car 2)
I was disappointed to hear that we were excluded from awards or rankings, but I'm glad that Mr. Hanawa was able to drive comfortably today. There were a lot of rocks, and the sideway jolts made it hard form me to support myself, but I was glad that I was able to follow through with navigation even under those conditions. I will keep on doing my best until we reach the finish line.


Car 2 and driver Ikuo Hanawa before the start


Navigators Yudai Hanawa (left) and Mayumi Kezuka (right) are happy to be back.


Car 2 lines up at the starting line.

0B5A7428 帰着する1号車を迎えるメカニック.jpg

A mechanic guides Car 1 upon its return.

0B5A7456 我慢のSSを走り切った菅原照仁.jpg

Teruhito Sugawara after the day's perseverance-testing SS

0B5A7546 賞典外となりカーナンバーのベースがオレンジに変わった2号車と塙ドライバー.jpg

Driver Ikuo Hanawa by his Car 2 with its new orange race number for those excluded from awards

0B5A7551 2台揃って整備を行う日野チーム.jpg

Both HINO TEAM SUGAWARA trucks undergo servicing.


BYD and Hino sign a strategic business alliance agreement with a focus on Commercial Battery Electric Vehicles development

News 2020.4.23

BYD and Hino sign a strategic business alliance agreement with a focus on Commercial Battery Electric Vehicles development

BYD Company Ltd. and Hino Motors, Ltd. signed a strategic business alliance agreement today with a focus on collaborating in commercial battery electric vehicles (BEVs) development.

View More

Hino Total Support Customer Center

Total Support 2019.4.15

"Hino Total Support Customer Center" in Malaysia

The Hino Total Support Customer Center, our first permanent overseas driver training facility, offers training programs to customer aiming to provide "Total support customized for each vehicle."

View More

Asahi, Ezaki Glico, CHIYODA-UNYU, Trancom, U-netrans, and NEXT Logistics Japan To commercialize and launch a new scheme for trunk-route transportation.

New Activity Areas 2019.12.25

Companies to bring together know-how in this cross-industry collaboration as a first step toward solving logistics issues. Companies will be investing in NEXT Logistics Japan.

NEXT Logistics Japan Co., Ltd. , a subsidiary of Hino Motors, Ltd., will be joined by Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd., Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd., CHIYODA-UNYU Co.,Ltd., Trancom Co., Ltd., and U-netrans Co., Ltd to bring together the expertise and technologies of these companies involved in logistics, which include cargo owners, transport companies, freight-required/trucks-required service companies and vehicle manufacturers, with the objective of commercializing a new trunk-route transportation scheme to provide solutions to the escalating issues in logistics.

View More

Safety & automated driving

Products & Technology 2019.1.30

Hino’s safety & automated driving technologies

To achieve its goal of "zero truck and bus traffic accident casualties," Hino Motors is striving to improve safety from many aspects.
Under the concept of "total safety," Hino is promoting efforts to increase safety at each stage, including operations management, preventive safety, and collision safety for when things go wrong.
We also believe it is important to widely disseminate the safety technologies that we develop, and we promote rapid installation of practical technology into our products, to be fitted as standard.

View More

Search within this website