Leading truck brand Hino has once again placed highest in the trucks under 10 litres capacity at the 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally. The main competitors in their class came this year as two Mercedes-Benz Unimog’s which unfortunately retired from the race two days before the final stage.
The Hino team crew consisted of Teruhito Sugawara (JPN), Hirokazu Somemiya (JPN), Yuji Mochizuki (JPN) driving a Hino 500 Series 4X4 truck. Their final classification came in at 12th overall out of a field of 44 trucks, of those 44 only 29 made it to the end of the rally! This continues a strong run this team has had, last year they achieved a finishing place of 10th overall.
Their achievement this year is made even greater as due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the Hino team chose to downsize substantially compared to previous years. This presented new challenges for the team especially competing against other teams with specially developed race trucks equipped with larger capacity engines.
This year’s performance continues a long legacy for the Hino brand at the Dakar Rally having first entered in 1991 and has had at least one truck finish the event every single year since then! Hino also stands apart being the only Japanese brand to compete in the trucks category this year, the rest of the field consists of western and eastern European trucks.
The rally was not without its challenges. The team suffered a forward roll over on the dunes that ended up with the truck lying on its roof! After getting assistance from a fellow competitor to recover the truck they found that the damage was focused on the bodywork leaving the mechanicals largely undamaged, this allowed them to make repairs during the overnight stop and keep going the following day. Here is a quick clip showing the effect of the roll-over
The 2021 Dakar Rally was run throughout Saudi Arabia over two weeks and across a route of 7 812km! Of the 321 vehicles that started the rally 93 retired before the finish.
Pieter Klerk, General Manager of Hino SA has this to say, “Hino’s ongoing record for reliability in the world’s toughest motorsport event makes us, at Hino South Africa, very proud because reliability and durability are two of the major attributes of the brand which continues to be a significant player in the local market, where it has been a participant for the past 48 years,”