Hino wins Dakar Rally class fifth time in a row

Japanese father and son team place first and second in their souped-up 500 series Hino 4WDs

Hino has notched up its fifth successive class victory in the Dakar Rally in South America.

The gruelling event involved covering more than 9,000 kilometres over 13 days through the Andes Mountains and deserts of Argentina and Chile.

Japanese father and son team Yoshimasa and Teruhito Sugawara brought their Hino 500s home first and second in the Under-10 litre truck class.

Teruhito Sugawara pushed his 485hp (357kW) 8-litre race truck to 12th outright in the truck division, up from 19th in 2013 when he also won his class.

Hino says 72-year-old Yoshimasa Sugawara is known as the “Iron Man of Dakar”. Yoshimasa finished second in the category, testing a new 8.9-litre 600hp (440kW) Hino.

Hino regards this development vehicle as a “strong chance” to challenge far larger trucks in the outright class in next year’s Dakar.

The company says Team Sugawara raced trucks derived from series production and which “relate strongly” to those sold in Australia.

The winning truck used the 8-litre JO8 engine which powers the majority of Hino’s medium duty 500 Series trucks. The development vehicle used the newer 8.9-litre AO9C unit available in the top end of the Hino 500 Series range.

“Hino has entered, and finished, the Dakar Rally for 23 successive years and uses the knowledge gained from this experience to improve the quality, durability and reliability of its production vehicles,” the company says.

It says improvements successfully trialled in the Dakar Rally include new axles with hub reduction mechanisms to increase ground clearance, new disc brakes, and a common rail injection upgrade.

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