After decades of success at the wheel of his Hino rally raid truck , the so called ‘Ironman of Dakar’ Yoshimasa Sugawara has announced his retirement and at the same time his team has unveiled a new truck and a replacement driver ahead of next month’s Silk Way Rally in China.
Hino Team Sugawara has released images of its new truck, based on the bonneted Hino 600 and confirmed Ikuo Hanawa as its new driver.
The team will run the new bonneted 600 Series in addition to its current Dakar 500 Series machine, presumably with an eye to promoting the team exploits in the all important US, the only market where the 600 is sold.
Ikuo Hanawa, is an experienced international off-road racer and well step into the drivers seat of the 600 joining recently-promoted lead driver, Teruhito Sugawara, who wonthe Under 10-litre category in 2019, and finished 9thoverall, beating larger rivals to the finish line .
“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,” said Dimitri Andreatidis, Hino Australia’s Head of Customer and Brand..
.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.