HINO TEAM SUGAWARA is a select team of individuals who carry the name and hopes of the Hino brand. The team uses the "Little Monsters", based on the HINO500 Series trucks that are known for their world-class durability, to win Dakar Rally, one of the toughest races in the world.


A select team of individuals who carry the name and hopes of the Hino brand

Hino Motors has teamed up with Team Sugawara―led by the father-and-son driving duo, Yoshimasa Sugawara, who has a Dakar Rally-record 35 consecutive entries under his belt, and his son Teruhito Sugawara―to enter two HINO500 Series trucks in the Dakar Rally as HINO TEAM SUGAWARA. Team members include navigators and a mechanic leader who have the full confidence of the Sugawaras, as well as Hino employee mechanics who bring to the team their deep expert knowledge that they have developed in their involvement in vehicle development at Hino Motors’ head office, and a crew of expert mechanics chosen from applicants from Hino dealers nationwide. In addition, a dealership in the rally’s host country has set up a truck servicing base for the team to service their trucks. As you can see, the entire Hino group has come together as a team to take on this challenge.

Yoshimasa Sugawara

Team director and driver of Car 1

Chairman, Japan Racing Management Co., Ltd.
Born on May 31, 1941 (Otaru, Hokkaido)
After numerous races in Japan and expeditions including a trans-Sahara Desert run, Yoshimasa started in the Paris-Dakar Rally for the first time in 1983 (age 41) in the Motorcycle category. He then raced in the Cars category for seven events, and has been racing HINO500 Series trucks since 1992. He has had six second-place finishes in the Trucks category, and won seven championships in the Under 10-litre Class. He holds the Dakar Rally record for 35 consecutive starts. His records for Most Consecutive Finishes in the Dakar Rally at 20 Finishes were recognized in Guinness World Records 2009, and Most Consecutive Entries in the Dakar Rally at 35 Entries were recognized in Guinness World Records 2018.

Teruhito Sugawara

Driver of Car 2

President, Japan Racing Management Co., Ltd.
Born on July 13, 1972 (Minato-ku, Tokyo)
Teruhito Sugawara, Yoshimasa Sugawara’s second son, first joined the Dakar Rally team in 1998 as a mechanic, and subsequently navigated for his father. During this time, he also gained racing experience in off-road races in Japan, as well as in Rally Mongolia. In 2003, he raced a HINO500 Series truck to a Trucks category win in the Pharaoh Rally in Egypt. He began racing alongside his father in a two-truck lineup in the Dakar Rally in 2005, and won his first championship in the Under 10-litre Class in 2007. His 2018 win was his nineth straight championship in the Class.

Ahito Sakurai

Navigator of Car 1

President, RULE!!MOTO
Born on March 21, 1981( Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa)
Ahito Sakurai has raced in numerous rallies in Japan on motorbikes, and first navigated for Yoshimasa Sugawara in Silk Way Rally 2018, which was his first foray into off-road rally racing outside of Japan. He will be navigating for Yoshimasa again in Dakar Rally 2019.

Katsumi Hamura

Navigator of Car 2

President, Just Speed
Born on September 3,1966 (Koganei-shi, Tokyo)
Hamura has navigated for Yoshimasa Sugawara for a total of 15 times* since he first navigated in the Dakar Rally 1992.

* 1992, 1994-1997, 2005-2010, 2013-2015, and 2018

Seiichi Suzuki

Technical adviser

Japan Racing Management Co., Ltd.
Born on January 30, 1961 (Minato-ku, Tokyo)
Suzuki has participated in a large number of international rallies as both navigator and mechanic. (22 times in the Dakar Rally, 8 in the Rally Mongolia, twice in the Egypt Pharaoh Rally, once in the Australian Safari, and three times in the Silk Way Rally)

Hideaki Takatori

Mechanic leader

Hino Motors, Ltd.
Vehicle Planning & Production Engineering Div., Hino Motors, Ltd.
Born on July 2, 1963 (Uenohara-shi, Yamanashi)
Hideaki Takatori was a mechanic on the team in Dakar Rally 1996 and then in 1997 when Hino finished with a 1-2-3 sweep in the overall Trucks category. He was the team’s mechanic leader in Silk Way Rally 2018.

Yu Honda


Aichi Hino Motor Co.,Ltd.

Fuminori Ishizaki


Ibaraki Hino Motor Ltd.

Daisuke Nawa



Hironobu Oda


Mie Hino Motors, Ltd.

Wataru Takahashi


Vehicle Evaluation & Engineering Div., Hino Motors, Ltd.

Yuji Mochizuki


Power Train Evaluation & Engineering Div., Hino Motors, Ltd.

Shinji Kitagawa


Vehicle & Module Evaluation & Engineering Div., Hino Motors, Ltd.

Kazuki Ishida


Aftersales Service Div., Hino Motors, Ltd.

Koji Tanaka

Support Member

Japan Racing Management Co., Ltd.

Mayumi Kezuka

Support Member

Japan Racing Management Co., Ltd.

Rumi Ando

Support Member

Japan Racing Management Co., Ltd.

Racing Trucks

Hino’s Dakar Rally Trucks, the “Little Monsters”

Hino Dakar Rally trucks are developed based on the “Hino Ranger” (English name: HINO500 Series) truck, a medium-duty truck model that serves logistics businesses worldwide. In the context of the Dakar Rally, medium-duty trucks deliver excellent mobility but hardly have an advantage over their rival heavy-duty trucks in terms of absolute power. Against these odds, Hino has consistently braved this rally with its lightweight and agile medium-duty trucks since the company first entered the race. And these trucks have come to be known as the “Little Monsters” for the intense competition that they put up against their larger rival trucks that are powered by larger-displacement engines.

For the 2019 rally, the team has built a new Car 2 truck for driver Teruhito Sugawara with the aim of winning their 10 straight championship in the Under 10-litre Class, and finishing at 5th place or above overall in the Trucks category. With upgrades such as greater maximum engine output (up from 700ps in the previous race to 750ps), a more rigid frame, longer wheelbase, and a new cab suspension for reducing lateral cab shaking and vibrations, the team has been able to dramatically improve the truck’s stability and vibration absorption performance at high speeds.

Yoshimasa Sugawara, driver of Car 1, will be racing in the same truck that he drove in the previous event. The team has refreshed the truck’s chassis and fitted it with an improved multi-leaf spring suspension―a reliable type of suspension that Hino has consistently used since its first entry in the Dakar Rally―to build a truck that will respond even better to the driver's intent.
Hino engineers have come together with their knowledge and ingenuity to squeeze the maximum amount of potential from these trucks that wear the “Hino” brand―one of the iconic brands from Japan―and have constantly evolved these racing trucks that the team enters in “the most grueling rally on the planet.”

New Truck Development

The following is an overview of some of the new mechanisms that were incorporated in Car 2 for Dakar Rally 2019.

Chassis Frame Upgrades

Based on results from the 2018 event, the torsion rigidity of the truck's chassis frame was improved to make the truck even stronger. Its structure was modified to one where both of its side rails, right and left, use closed cross sections, and are weld-bonded to each other using cross pipes. This gives the chassis frame more than twice the torsion rigidity of its 2018 iteration at essentially the same mass. This major improvement in torsion rigidity dramatically improves high-speed stability over rough terrain and hence helps reduces driver fatigue.

Cab Suspension

To reduce lateral vibrations, the cab is now fitted with a spring and damping system on the rear side of the cab suspension to directly support lateral movements. The mechanism also comes with a function for varying its damping force. Whereas the 2018 truck's cab suspension was primarily designed for supporting the cab in the vertical direction, the new mechanism for the 2019 truck features fully independent vertical and lateral support. This setup dramatically reduces lateral shaking and vibration that are caused by body rolls.

Dakar Rally 2019 HINO500 Series Truck Specs

You can scroll horizontally

Car1 Car2
Engine medel A09C-TI (with turbo intercooler)
Engine type 4-cycle, in-line 6-cylinder diesel
Displacement 8.866L
Max output/rpm 670ps / 2,300rpm 750ps / 2,600rpm
Max torque/rpm 236kgm / 1,200rpm 236kgm / 1,200rpm
Power train
Drive system Part-time 4WD Full-time 4WD
Transmission 6-speed forward, 1-speed reverse
Transfer with Hi-Lo range switching with Hi-Lo range switching and center differential lock
Tires XZL+ 14.00R20
Gross vehicle weight 7,300kg 7,900kg
Length 6,290mm 6,700mm
Width 2,500mm 2,500mm
Height 3,150mm 3,000mm
Wheelbase 3,890mm 4,170mm
Fuel tank 700L 760L

HINO700 Series ZS Assistance Trucks

Supporting the team's racing trucks are two HINO700 Series ZS heavy-duty trucks―Hino's pride―that shoulder the bulk of the work in transporting essential spare parts and mechanics during the rally. To travel from bivouac to bivouac, mechanics split up into groups and ride on the support vehicles that they are in charge of. How these mechanics perform during the rally will also be something to keep an eye out for.

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