While the bear’s away the cubs will play…
The dominant Russian Kamaz truck entries were absent from the 2023 Dakar Rally event, so the lesser lights got their chance to star.
Iveco had a hugely successful 2023 Dakar Rally, with experienced Dutch driver Janus van Kasteren piloting the Boss Machinery De Rooy Powerstar to victory in an event that covered over 8500 kilometres in 14 gruelling stages, in some of the world’s most difficult conditions.
The 45th Dakar also saw Eurol Team De Rooy entrants Martin van den Brink and Mitchel van den Brink guide their two Powerstar race trucks inlace-modified Cursor 13-litre engines, capable of producing more than 900bhp.
Iveco’s previous Dakar Rally wins were in 2016 and 2012.
The Australian connection with the winning vehicles is the bonnet and mudguard assembly that was originally designed for the range of Powerstar prime movers. The FRP bonnet converted a European COE truck into a bonneted one.
Iveco’s off-road range consists of the re-released Daily 4×4, at 7t GVM; the Eurocargo 4×4, at 15t GVM; the Trakker 4×4 and 6×6 range, at 33t GVM and the Astra 6×6 and 8×8 models, at GVMs up to 48t.
The range will be expanded later in 2023, when the T-Way on-off-road models arrive, with hydraulically driven front axles, supplementing their 6×4 and 8×4 configurations.
Hino made the Top 10
Hino has been a regular Dakar Rally competitor for the past 32 years and the Team Sugawara members have been there for every one of them.
In the 2023 event the Hino 600 Series entry, with a bonnet and mudguard assembly developed for on-highway trucks in the US market, made it into the Top 10 – despite having a much smaller engine than most of the competition.
The Hino Dakar truck is powered by a race version of the AO9C engine that powers some on-road Hino 700 and 500 Wide Cab models in Australia. The engine drives through a six-speed automatic transmission and features full-time-4WD and wide-single tyres.