Ahead of next month’s Silk Way Rally, Hino Team Sugawara has released images of its new truck and confirmed its new driver.
In addition to the current Dakar Rally 500 Series truck, the team has developed a new bonnet-type truck with three seats based on the 600 Series truck which is sold in North America.
Following the retirement of the ‘’Ironman of Dakar’ Yoshimasa Sugawara in April, the team has announced his replacement driver, Mr Ikuo Hanawa, who is an experienced international off-road racer.
‘In addition, an experienced crew member in the third seat will increase the team’s ability to cope with any problems encountered during the rally,’ said Mr Dimitri Andreatidis, Hino Australia’s Head of Customer and Brand.
“The team’s goal is to continue its recent dominance of the Under 10 litre class which has included 10 years of consecutive wins, and also propel it further up the standings in the overall truck category,” he continued.
He will join recently-promoted lead driver Teruhito Sugawara, who was victorious in the Under 10-litre category in 2019, and finished 9th overall, beating larger rivals to the finish line.
Both of the Hino Dakar Rally vehicles will use an enhanced version of the Hino A09C 6 cylinder engine, with the production version available in the 500 Series Wide Cab trucks in Australia.
A derivative of the A09, the A05 engine, powers the All-New 500 Series Standard Cab, which is currently available in Hino Australia’s extensive dealer network.
Key specifications of the two 2019 Dakar Rally Hino trucks include full-time 4WD and a 8,866 litre direct injection turbocharged and intercooled engine, which is matched to a six speed manual transmission in Car 1 and six speed automatic transmission in Car 2.
The new truck and driver will make their debut at the Silk Way Rally which will be held in Russia, Mongolia and China from 6-16 July, 2019 before taking on the 2020 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia from 2-17 January 2020.