Competition for the Dakar Rally 2014 kicked off today on January 5 following yesterday's ceremonial start. The course for the day was set between Rosario and San Luis. After traveling 405km westward from Rosario, contestants raced through a 180km SS which was set on 180km of winding roads through the Cordoba mountains. The narrow roads and dusty conditions of this SS made it particularly difficult for trucks.
Car 2 piloted by the Teruhito Sugawara/Hiroyuki Sugiura crew
Both of HINO TEAM SUGAWARA's HINO500 Series trucks finished this SS without any problems. Car 2 piloted by the Teruhito Sugawara/Hiroyuki Sugiura crew came in at 23rd place overall, and Car 1, which is still being broken in, was piloted by the Yoshimasa Sugawara/Katsumi Hamura crew who delivered a solid performance finishing at 50th overall. The SS was followed by a 224km liaison segment, making the total travel distance for the day a longish 809km.
Trucks start later than motorbikes and cars, and as a result they arrive at the bivouac later in the evening. So while both trucks have been confirmed to have finished the SS, neither of the trucks have arrived at San Luis as of this writing at 9pm. The bivouac site was set up in the San Luis Circuit which has hosted FIA GT World Championships in the past. The teams' bivouacs were set up in the paddock area, and the Hino team was assigned a servicing space where the main fixture was its new HINO700 Series ZS assistant truck. As of this writing, the mechanics are waiting for the racing trucks to arrive.
On January 6, the race will feature a 400km SS between San Luis and San Rafael.
At the bivouac in San Luis, the Hino team awaits the arrival of its HINO500 Series racing trucks.
Car 1 piloted by the Yoshimasa Sugawara/Katsumi Hamura crew