Hino Dakar Rally
30 in a row for Hino
Dakar Rally: 30 in a row for Hino
Despite challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, a serious crash and a demanding route, HINO TEAM SUGAWARA successfully completed its 30th successive Dakar Rally – an astounding feat in the world’s toughest rally.
The 2021 Dakar Rally was staged in Saudi Arabia and finished in Jeddah on 15 January 2021 after 12 difficult stages in extreme conditions.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, HINO TEAM SUGAWARA took the decision to send only a single vehicle to the event this year, with three mechanics in the support crew, as well as the driving and navigating crew of Teruhito Sugawara, Hirokazu Somemiya and Yuji Mochizuki.
Despite the small support crew, they were able to get the team through an early crash in the event, where the HINO500 Series racing truck rolled forward while tackling the dunes. No one was injured and the crew was able to get the vehicle back on the road and competing. “Things got difficult at times because we were a small group, but it was a great Dakar,” said Yuji Mochizuki after the race. “I'm glad I was there as the truck's mechanic when it tipped over because I was able to start up the engine and make other stop gap fixes.”
This year’s event, which was the second to be held in Saudi Arabia, was 7 812km long with 4 688km of timed special stages. Of the 286 vehicles that lined up at the start, 93 fell by the wayside over the next 12 days with 193 eventual finishers.
The HINO500 Series was able to finish in 12 place overall, winning the category for truck with an engine under 10 litres capacity for the 12th successive year.
“The biggest event for us this year was the tip-over accident we had and how we were able to continue the race after making emergency repairs that night. I have to apologise for tipping the truck over, and I am grateful for all that everyone did so that we can be where we are today. Thank you all very much,” said Teruhito Sugawara.