HINO TEAM SUGAWARA Finishes Dakar Rally 2024 in 6th Place Overall in the Trucks Category Achieves 33rd Consecutive Finish
Jan 23, 2024
Hino Motors, Ltd. (Hereafter "Hino." HQ: Hino, Tokyo. President: Satoshi Ogiso) entered their HINO 600 series truck as HINO TEAM SUGAWARA (Director: Teruhito Sugawara, General Manager: Satoshi Ogiso) in Dakar Rally 2024 which ran from January 5 through 19, 2024 in Saudi Arabia. The team finished at 6th place overall in the trucks category.
This event handed Hino its 33rd consecutive finish since it made its first entry in 1991 as the first Japanese commercial vehicle maker to start in the rally.
Aiming for a finish in the top group in Dakar Rally 2024, the team made improvements to their truck to further enhance the reliability to keep it going, and developed it to maximally minimize time losses. The team finished the rally--known as "the world's most grueling race"--without experiencing any major problems.
Driver and Team director, Teruhito Sugawara
During the SS, the air piping of the CTIS (tire air pressure regulator) came off and we were forced to stop for about 10 minutes to repair it. The ranking results are exactly what we were originally aiming for. It was unfortunate that we had fuel trouble in the Empty Quarter, but after fixing it, we were able to drive well.
Navigator, Hirokazu Somemiya
Through this year's competition, I felt that if the vehicle, people involved, and teamwork work together, the Hino team can aim for fifth place overall in the current trucks category. I don't usually navigate cross-country rallies, so I always used to be nervous during the early stages, but I'm okay now.
Navigator and Mechanic, Yuji Mochizuki
We had improved the engine cooling system of this year's vehicle, which had trouble last time. The engine was able to be controlled by switching between 750PS and 800PS output specifications, which increased the frequency of using the high output specification, and I think it helped save time.
Mitsuru Enomoto, Head of Development, Dakar Challenge Group, Technical Research Center
We corrected the frequent problems we had last year with the engine's cooling system, and the transfer's low range matched the characteristics of this year's engine, which proved to be effective on dune runs. We are proud at how our truck fabrication based on excellent QDR (Quality, Durability, Reliability) aimed at reducing time losses, the racing acumen of our racing crew, and the efforts that our mechanics and support members put in day in and day out to see the truck off in top condition have all contributed to our good results.
I believe that the race was the result of the entire team working together as one and giving it their all, and keeping operations going no matter what difficulties they faced. I think this brings us closer to the vision of Total Support that Hino aspires to achieve.
In their first stint in the Dakar Rally, Akinobu Saito of Tochigi Hino Motor and Tsuyoshi Fukuta of Aichi Hino Motor--selectees of an open screening program that aims to realize growth and active participation on the personal level--fully demonstrated the experience they have built up in their day-to-day work in servicing, and supported the team with their careful and prompt work.
Akinobu Saito, Mechanic, Tochigi Hino Motor
It was a tough two weeks, but every day was fun and fulfilling. I'm glad that the AT and transfer, which had been replaced early due to problems, were fine. And I'm happy that we got a good ranking.
Tsuyoshi Fukuda, Mechanic, Aichi Hino Motor
We were able to finish in a good position and our efforts were worth it. Being at the Dakar Rally scene was tiring but fun.