The Hino team has won a record ninth consecutive class win on the grueling 2018 Dakar Rally in South America.
The 40th Dakar Rally finished on January 20 after 15 days that saw competitors race through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.
Hino Motors teamed up with Team Sugawara to enter two Hino 500 Series trucks in the competition.
After 15 days and 14 stages of competition, Hino Team Suguwara’s Car 2 delivered an impressive performance to win the highly-competitive Under 10-litre class and finish sixth overall.
In the early stages of the rally, Team Sugawara was left with only one Hino 500 Series truck due to an “ill-fated problem” that forced Car 1 crewed by Yoshimasa Sugawara and Katsumi Hamura to withdraw from what was Sugawara’s 35th straight start in the race.
However, the crew on Car 2 – Teruhito Sugawara and Mitsugu Takahashi – pushed themselves and their truck to the limit, achieving the team’s ninth straight win in the Under 10-litre Class.
“I am very happy that the team was able to fulfil their goal of winning their ninth straight win in the Under 10-litre Class,” Hino Motors chairman Yasuhiko Ichihashi said at the finish line where he greeted the competitors.
“While Car 1 had to withdraw from the race, I’m glad that Car 2 was able to deliver the results that we had hoped for.”
Driver of Car 2 Teruhito Sugawara enjoyed the challenges of the difficult course that traversed many areas he hadn’t previously raced in, the company states.
“This was the 20th Dakar Rally for me personally, and I’m glad that we were able to achieve the results that we aimed for,” Sugawara said.
“I think we were able to make the best of our current potential so it was very satisfying in that respect too.”
Considered the ‘’ironman of Dakar”, Teruhito’s father Yoshimasa was disappointed not to finish what would have been his 27th consecutive Dakar Rally.
“Although this event turned out to be a huge failure for me, I am going to leave all of that behind and get to work to enter the rally again next year,” Sugawara Sr. said.
“I think Teruhito did really well this year considering the very difficult courses that we were all up against this year.”
Both Hino 500 Series trucks used in the event use an enhanced version of the Hino A09C 6 cylinder engine, which is available as an option in the 500 Series