We’re over half way with the Dakar Rally and it’s just getting harder!
Stage 7 – Day 9 - San Juan de Marcona > San Juan de Marcona: No. 2 Car cleared the loop course in 9th place.
On the 14th, the Dakar Rally was at San Juan de Marcona. The distance of the loop course is 323 km, with soft sand and very soft soil. The level of difficulty was high, and it continued to be a testing segment of the competition.
The morning graced us with fog appearing across the top of the mountains, as a result, the start of the 4 wheel / truck section of the rally was delayed 30 minutes and the start of the competition Section was delayed by 20 minutes.
Hino Team Sugawara "Teruhito Sugawara / Katsumi Hamura" started at 22 and appeared to have a good run across the sand dunes. However, it punctured the front right wheel 100 kms in. It took 18 minutes to be replaced and no further complications appeared resulting in Team Sugawara finishing 9th overall in the truck division.
Meanwhile, the Hino Ranger No. 1 Car "Yoshimasa Sugawara / Sakurai Hitoshi", the pair who who retired in the first half of the semi-marathon, participated in the second half of the game in the SS (competition section). The Hino Ranger No. 1 Car arrived at the bivouac in Marcona safely around 8:10 am where some maintenance of the vehicle took place and did not show any signs of slowing down. The No. 1 Car went on to start on Monday the 14th.
After passing SS (competition section) at 10:56am, it passed through the 150 km point around 5pm without trouble.
On Tuesday, from San Juan de Marcona to Pisco a 359 km race will be held in the dunes.
What they said
Teruhito Sugawara (No. 2 Car driver)
‘I was paying attention because I knew there were stones, but my tire still got punctured and I lost some time. Even in the sand dune area where driving experience is necessary, it is still very difficult driving. It was a tough stage that did not raise the average speed. Pisco tomorrow is also not easy. I will continue to work hard.’
Kazumi Hamura (No. 2 Car navigator)
‘The sand dunes were strong and difficult to swell, but I am relieved to have finished with no mistake.’
Stage 8 – Day 10 - San Juan de Marcona > Pisco
The second car leapt to 8th place overall whilst No. 1 Car is competing in the semi-marathon.
On the 15th (Tuesday) the SS (competition section) was 359 km long and took place in the desert around Pisco from San Juan de Marcona. This area is one of the main tracks of the tournament.
Hino Team Sugawara started the competition section at 9th place in the truck division and passed smoothly on the first half of the off-road track and arrived in 8th place in the middle zone.
Even though Sugawara entered the latter half of the dunes, we continued rigid running, but after 200 kilometres we got stuck after severe climbing and it took about 40 minutes to get back on course.
The Sugawara team reached the next checkpoint in position 12.
The Hino Ranger No. 2 Car finished 10th in the competition section and as a result is in 8th position overall.
Meanwhile, the Hino Ranger No. 1 Car "Yoshimasa Sugawara / Sakurai Hitoshi" who participated in the "semi marathon" returned to Marcona's bivouac at midnight on Monday the 14th.
What they said
Sugawara Teruhito (No. 2 Car driver)
‘The morning fog caused poor visibility. Pisco's sand dunes are easier to run than Marcona.’
Kazumi Hamura (No. 2 Car Navigator)
‘When climbing, I lost a sheet (for tire slip prevention on escape). I felt a chance to follow a waypoint as there was not much risk of driving off the course.’
Stay tuned to Hino Australia’s Facebook page for the next round of updates.