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Dakar Rally 2014 Race Report - Stage 2 Jan 06, 2014

Warming Up on a 400km Mountain Course
Car 2 Delivers Stunning Performance Coming In at 13th Overall in the SS

 

Yesterday evening, HINO TEAM SUGAWARA’s Car 2 piloted by Teruhito Sugawara and Hiroyuki Sugiura, which finished the day’s SS in 23rd place overall and top in the Under 10-litre Class, and Car 1 piloted by Yoshimasa Sugawara and Katsumi Hamura, which finished 50th overall and 2nd in the Class, returned safely to the bivouac in San Luis before 11:00pm and around 12 midnight, respectively. Neither of the trucks encountered any notable problems, and while it had been a long day, the crews appeared to be in good spirits. Teruhito Sugawara emphasized the evolution of Car 2, specifically in terms of how higher speeds enabled by the engine’s greater torque, disk brakes, and the better gripping performance and resultant improvements to braking performance from the truck’s new semi-mud tires (Michelin XZL) contributed to reducing the truck’s time on winding roads.

 


Car 2 piloted by the Teruhito Sugawara/Hiroyuki Sugiura crew

The course for January 6th took the contestants from San Luis to San Rafael in Argentina. The trucks traveled southward for 304km on a liaison course to the outskirts of San Rafael, where the SS was set on a 400km course that made one clockwise loop in the mountain areas of the Sierra Nevada mountains. While most of the road surface consisted of hard gravel, the course also featured some small sand dunes toward the end. The routes for Cars and Trucks diverged midway due to the narrow roads, resulting in different SS mileages between categories.

This day again, both HINO500 Series trucks delivered solid performance. Car 2 competed against its outsized rivals in the Trucks category coming in at 13th overall and top in the Under 10-litre Class. These results showcased the truck’s excellent performance just two days into this year’s race which the team has designated as the culminating race in its efforts to develop a new racing truck. Car 1 continues to deliver solid performance as well, but has not reached the finish line as of this writing at 9pm.

The bivouac was set up in Autódromo San Rafael, a racing track located at the end of a 62km liaison segment that came after the SS. At the bivouac, Hino team mechanics await the arrival of Car 2 which is refueling en route.

On January 7, contestants will race on a 301km SS set on the way to San Juan. This is expected to be a harsh mountain-crossing course where the teams will be taken through highlands at elevations in the 3000m range.

 

Katsuyuki Nagoshi: To give these trucks the performance needed in rally vehicles, we have set the fuel injection response vis-a-vis gas pedal inputs to the quicker end on both Cars 1 and 2. While Teruhito Sugawara seems to like this setting, Yoshimasa Sugawara seems to prefer a milder response. One of my responsibilities here is to keep an eye out on how adjustments like these go, and gather all the field data that we need.

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