Dakar 2020: Taking on one of the world’s toughest challenges and rewrite the records
The Dakar Rally is one of the most uncompromising, dramatic challenges on earth. Here at Hino, we’re proud to once again compete in a race that reflects our own spirit of adventure. Our recent record won’t be easy to live up to, with ten consecutive victories in the 10 litre category going all the way back to 2009. But with 2020’s course set to be one of the hardest yet, Hino Team Sugawara are well prepared for the challenge.
The history of the Dakar Rally makes it one of the most prestigious races there is. It began back in 1977, when Thierry Sabine got lost on his motorbike. He survived the extreme landscape, and was so inspired by its beauty and scale that he wanted others to experience it in the same way. In each edition, the race has provided excitement and created incredible human stories from those brave enough to take part.
2020’s rally, through the beautiful rolling hills and sandy terrain of Saudi Arabia, is set to provide competitors with a truly memorable experience. The teams will be facing a daunting 7,500km of intimidating terrain, including 5,000km of specials. Over 75% of the rally will be over sand, providing an intense test of their endurance and concentration.
The journey starts in Jeddah then onto Wadi Al-Dawasir before finishing at Qiddiyah in the east of the country. It sees the team's drive across varied, arduous terrain - from climbing sections to off-road alternates and numerous crossings. In the far south, where there are very few settlements, the teams will be asked to negotiate dunes over 250 metres high. For expert dune surfers it’ll be a difficult challenge, while for amateurs it could be almost impossible.
Thankfully, Hino Team Sugawara will be approaching the event high in confidence after their success over the last 10 years. However, this year it’ll be a little different as legendary father Yoshimaza has decided to end his Dakar career at 78 after 36 appearances on the race.
The time has come for his second son Teruhito to take over. He shows up for the Dakar in Saudi Arabia with an entirely new crew, alongside Yuji Mochizuki who knows the truck by heart, and Hirokazu Somemiya who has been a navigator on races like the Baja 1000. They’ll aim to do justice to the legacy of Yoshimaza by aiming for a top 5 overall spot.