Hino to again tackle 2014 Dakar Rally with two trucks

Hino Motors in Japan has announced its customary entry of two 500 Series trucks for the 2014 Dakar Rally.

The main objective will be to extend Hino’s amazing record for performance and reliability on this annual event.

Next year will mark the 23rd consecutive year that Hino has entered the rally, having been the first Japanese manufacturers to tackle the Dakar in 1991.

Hino has finished every Dakar Rally it has entered and in 1997 it took a 1-2-3 clean sweep of the overall placings, while a Hino has won the under 10-litre engine category 13 times.

Hino Motors, in conjunction with Team Sugawara, has been developing new trucks over a period of three years since 2012 and the 2014 trucks feature numerous technological advances.

The No. 1 Hino is fitted with a 9-litre common-rail A09C turbo-intercooled engine that will mark the first time the team has used a power unit with a capacity greater than eight litres.

The bigger engine develops 445kW of power and 1 950Nm of torque, compared to 360kW and 1 425Nm delivered by the 8-litre JO8C engine fitted to the No. 2 racing truck.

Both trucks have part-time four-wheel drive with diff locks front and rear and six-speed gearboxes with two-speed transfer cases and hub-reduction drive to the rear wheels.

Brakes are by Brembo and there is a central tyre inflation system for the desert crossings. Fuel tank capacity is 600 litres.

Truck No. 1 will be driven by 72-year-old Yoshimasa Sugawara who holds the Guinness record for 30 consecutive entries in the Dakar Rally.

He was the first to have taken part in this famous event on a motorcycle, in a car and truck.

He has finished 20 of the 21 Dakar Rallies he has started in trucks, with the only non-finish coming from missing a check point.

Yoshimasa has finished second overall in the truck category on six occasions and has notched up seven wins in the class for trucks with engines smaller than 10-litres. He will again have Katsumi Hamura as his co-driver. The two of them have raced together 12 times since 1992.

Hino No. 2 will be driven by Yoshimasa’s 41-year-old son, Teruhito, who has been competing in the Dakar Rally since 2005 and has notched up four consecutive successes in the under 10-litre class. His co-driver will be Hioyuki Sugiura, who debuted on the Dakar in 2010.

The team will be backed up by an experienced technical group. For the first time there will be a dedicated electronics specialist who will concentrate mainly on engine performance. His inclusion indicates the advances being made in technology to extract maximum performance in a long-distance event of this nature.

The 2014 Dakar Rally will start in Rosario, Argentina, on January 5 and end in Chile on January 18.

The route will be about 10 000km in length and will include a section into Bolivia for the first time.

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