On January 12, the 9th stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally was held at the loop course starting from Belen, Argentina.
The road surface is mostly off-piste (wasteland with no road) and it was made similar to the landscapes of North Africaâ€”soft sand dunes where grasses grow thickly, and withered river at the bottom. With a temperature of more than 40 degrees, this is a stage where one cannot travel at high speeds because it may increase the risk of overheating.
Originally, this SS was originally slated to be 285km, but due to intense heat, it has been decided that it will be ended in the middle of CP (checkpoint) 2. The cars and trucks traveled approximately 5km towards the Belen bivouac on a liaison segment, while the motorcycles headed towards a different route to go to the exclusive marathon bivouac.
Teruhito Sugawara/Hiroyuki Sugiura of Car 2 drove fast as they leveraged the maneuverability of the Hino Ranger in this SS. Aiming to finish 9th overall in the truck class and finish first in the under 10L class, this is the first time that they have actually entered the top 10 in this rally. In addition, Yoshimasa Sugawara/ Mitusgu Takahashi of Car 1 kept a good pace while considering the rise in water temperature. They finished as second on that same class and ranked as 30th overall. With these results, the Car 2 is advancing to 15th place overall, and to 1st place in its class. Meanwhile, the Car 1 advances to 35th in the overall and 2nd in the under 10L class, making it a one-two ranking for the Hino Rangers.
(Translated by Kimberlee Estampa)