Hino Motors to enter the 2008 Dakar Rally aiming at its 18th consecutive course finish and a victory in the under 10-liter class.
Hino will participate in the truck division of the Dakar Rally (commonly known as the Paris-Dakar), the most grueling offroad race in the world, which is scheduled to start on January 5th, 2008. With two medium-duty trucks Hino Ranger Pro, Hino is aiming at completing the course for the 18th consecutive year and a victory in the under 10-liter cubic capacity production truck class.
Hino will enter this coming rally as Hino Team Sugawara by thoroughly supporting Team Sugawara led by Yoshimasa Sugawara, who is looking to further improve his world record of 25 consecutive entries and 19 consecutive completions in the Dakar Rally. From designing and building the race vehicle to dispatching six mechanics selected from among Hino group employees and nationwide dealers, this will be a vehicle-focused team effort by Hino.
In 1991, Hino became the first Japanese truck manufacturer to participate in the Dakar Rally and, since then, it has set new records for both consecutive entries and completions of the race. Furthermore, in 1997, Hino achieved a brilliant feat of placing unprecedented first, second and third overall in the camion division. Hino always completed the course in the Paris-Dakar, which is said to be the world’s most grueling rally event, and has achieved high rankings through tough competition with other monster camions.
Hino will continue to demonstrate reliability and durability of the vehicles through Dakar Rally, and at the same time challenge itself, so as to improve its record and to take a great leap from Hino in Japan to Hino in the world.
HINO TEAM SUGAWARA
2 Hino Rangers Pro
Driver: Yoshimasa Sugawara
Navigator: Katsumi Hamura
Yoshimasa Sugawara (age 66) will be the driver of truck N1 and Katsumi Hamura will assist again this year as his navigator. Yoshimasa Sugawara continues to set unprecedented records, including 25 consecutive entries and completions for 19 consecutive years in the Paris-Dakar. He also has six second-place wins in the camion division (overall) and seven first-place wins in the cubic capacity classes.
Driver: Teruhito Sugawara
Navigator: Seiichi Suzuki
Teruhito Sugawara, the second son of the driver of truck N1,Yoshimasa, won the 2003 Pharaoh Rally Egypt, the first Japanese national to take the honor in the camion division. He made his Paris-Dakar debut as a driver in 2005. His navigator this year will again be Seiichi Suzuki.
Hino Ranger Pro General Specs
History of Hino in the Dakar Rally
Hino first participated in the Dakar Rally as a Japanese truck manufacturer in 1991. It took second place overall in the camion division in 1994 and the same again for the second time the following year. It reinforced the team structure beginning in 1996 with the aim of winning the overall championship and went on in 1997 to achieve a brilliant feat of placing unprecedented first, second and third in the camion division. It continued later to show itself to be a top team in the camion division, winning second place overall in this division three times. In addition it won seven straight victories in under 10-liter cubic capacity class of the camion division established from 1996 to 2002. After that this class was disestablished for two years. However, when the class was reestablished at the 2005 and 2007 events, Hino scored victories again.