TOYOTA GAZOO RACING SA CLEARS FINAL HURDLES FOR DAKAR 2018

The Toyota Hilux is ready to take on the toughest challenge in world motorsport, the Dakar 2018, which gets under way in Lima, Peru, tomorrow (6 January).

The Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team are entering three cars in the event, driven by Giniel de Villiers with navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz, Nasser Al Attiyah with Mathieu Baumel and Bernhard ten Brinke with Michel Périn.

The team have been a force to be reckoned with since first fielding a Hilux in 2012. The latest, all-new model promises a leap forward in performance, combined with an all-star driver line-up. De Villiers is a former Dakar winner with von Zitzewitz in 2009 and the pair have since achieved four podium finishes for Toyota.

Al Attiyah and Baumel were winners of the opening stage last year and were leading the field before an unlucky retirement. This year they are strong prospects for success, having claimed their fourth FIA Cross-Country World Cup in 2017 – their third in a Toyota Hilux.

Dutch driver ten Brinke is no stranger to the Dakar, having taken part since 2012. He raced a Hilux as part of the Overdrive Racing team in 2017, but this year will be his first outing as a full works driver.

The crews will all be driving the all-new Hilux, adapted with a naturally aspirated V8 engine, mid-mounted lay-out and new suspension geometry. To comply with new competition regulations, the engine is fitted with a larger, 38mm air restrictor.

This, together with a 12 per cent increase in suspension travel and lower overall vehicle weight, will be an important factor in the early stages through power-sapping sand dunes in Peru. From there the race will progress through extreme altitudes in Bolivia before descending into northern Argentina for the conclusion. The 40th edition of the Dakar will finish in Cordoba, Argentina, on 20 January.

“The Dakar Rally is undeniably the world’s toughest automotive race,” said Team Principal Glyn Hall. The terrain, temperatures, altitude and navigation all play major roles. But to us it is also the ultimate challenge and we are looking forward to continuing our quest for glory.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

Toyota Gazoo Racing will distribute media material throughout Dakar 2018.

www.motorpress.co.za will send out daily media releases with images for editorial use.

In addition to this service, Toyota Gazoo Racing SA has also launched an all-new media portal for Dakar. This portal will contain material from previous races, as well as the latest edition of the Dakar Rally. Material available daily includes:

  • Media Releases
  • Photographs
  • Video News Releases
  • Edited Video clips for use in social media and websites
  • Audio clips with interviews of the team
  • Invitation link to join a dedicated media WhatsApp group

PLEASE NOTE: Registration is required for access to the media portal.

The URL for the portal is: https://toyotadakar.motorpress.co.za

Hashtags to look out for and use include:

#TeamHilux

#ToyotaGazooSA

#Dakar2018SA

Twitter Handles include:

@therealginiel                      – Giniel de Villiers

@rallyedakar                        – Dirk von Zitzewitz

@AlAttiyahN                         – Nasser Al Attiyah

@matthieubaumel                – Matthieu Baumel

Images

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