Hino proves too tough to beat
HINO has again asserted its dominance of the global rally circuit by notching up another win at the 2012 Dakar Rally in South America.
Hino Team Sugawara recorded victory in the under-10 litre truck class for a top-10 overall placing.
Significantly, the completion of this year's race marked the 21st consecutive occasion that a Hino truck has entered and finished Dakar - a record for any single manufacturer competing in the race.
Entry number 508, the Hino 500 Series, driven by Teruhito Sugawara and Seiichi Suzuki, secured first place in the under-10 litre class and ninth overall in the truck division.
A particularly strong performance in stage 13 - the last of the fully-blown special stages run from Nazca to Pisco, Peru - was integral to achieving the results. Mr Sugawara said he wished there were more special stages like stage 13, as the sandy conditions suited the 500 Series.
"We did well and pulled through without getting stuck. The truck performed brilliantly," he said.
Entry number 521, piloted by Sugawara's father (and Dakar legend) Yoshimasa Sugawara and co-driver Hiroyuki Sugiura, to third position in the under-10 litre class and 24th overall in the truck classification.
This year marks the 12th time Hino has won the under-10 litre class. The 2012 event also marks Teruhito Sugawara's second successive top-10 classification result after finishing ninth in 2011.
Before its transformation into racing specification, the winning 500 Series was built as an Australian testing platform for new medium-truck technologies.
Hino divisional manager product strategy, marketing and dealer development, Alex Stewart, said the results of this year's rally were another example of Hino quality, durability and reliability even when taking on some of the toughest conditions in the world.
"Hino's dominance of the off-road rally circuit highlights the significant product testing engineers conduct to ensure all Hino trucks perform to the highest standard, even in the toughest conditions," he said.
"We congratulate Team Hino Sugawara on their win and look forward to seeing continued success with both 500 Series race trucks."