TOKYO, Japan – Hino will be involved in yet another David vs. Goliath battle in the 2021 Dakar Rally due to start in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on January 22021.
The all-wheel drive Hino 500 is one of the few competing trucks in a field of 42 with an engine capacity of less than 10 litres but despite the smaller engine and less power the Hino has delivered amazing reliability over the years.
Hino, Japan’s leading truck-builder, has entered only one truck in this the 43rd Dakar, its 29th consecutive entry and still the only Japanese truck in the field. A Hino has finished in the top 10 on 25 occasions, including finishing 1,2,3 in the 1997 event.
Hino will once again be aiming for a 12th successive win in the class for trucks with engines of less than 10 litres capacity as well as other high overall finishing positions. In addition, there is huge pressure on the team to finish the event, as there has been at least one Hino truck at the finish in every Dakar in which Hino has raced.
NO GLOBAL PANDEMIC IN THE DESERT
The Hino will once again be driven by Teruhito Sugawara, co-piloted by Hirokazu Somemiya and Yuji Mochizuki – the team that finished 10th in 2020 Dakar among a field of 47 trucks.
Sugawara has competed 21 Dakars, finishing out of the top 15 only twice in the 16 years that he’s been a driver. He previously navigated for his father.
The 2021 Dakar has attracted 555 competitors in 321 vehicles, despite the global pandemic, and competition will be as tough as ever over a route on which all the special stages will be new. The total route, which starts and finishes in Jeddah, will cover 7646km of which 4767km will be timed.
42 TRUCKS WILL LEAVE THE START LINE
The event will finish on January 15 with January 9 a rest day. Top speed has been limited to 180km/h this year on the grounds of safety.
The truck entry of 42 for Dakar 2021 is made up of 13 brands: MAN (11), Iveco (6), Kamaz (4), Tatra (4), DAF (4), Renault (3), Mercedes-Benz (3), Maz (2), Hino (1), Praga (1), International (1), Volvo (1), and Scania (1).
Good luck, guys!