40 years of Toyota at the Dakar Rally
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The 40th anniversary of the Dakar Rally has come to an end. Beginning on January 6th, competitors faced 14 stages at just under 9,000km of racing starting on Peruvian sand dunes, then through Bolivian mountains and finishing in Argentine deserts. Out of the 92 cars that began the trek, 47 of them were Toyotas.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa enjoyed a good amount of success with #301 Nasser Al-Attiyah coming in 2nd, #304 Giniel De Villiers coming in 3rd.
It was a great year for Toyota on the whole as well. In the Car Category top 10, five were Toyota vehicles and out of the 55% of competitors who managed to finish, almost half of them were Toyotas. Toyota vehicles are known worldwide as tough and reliable. Even the Dakar organisers relied on them to caravan around and scout upcoming stages.
Dakar Chief of Vehicle operations Fernando Astudillo said of the Toyotas “there is a real trust between the drivers and their Toyotas.” It could be said that the ultimate challenge for these machines is waiting another year to attack the Dakar again. When that time comes, Toyota and the teams that drive them will be ready.
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Modified: 11 April 2019
Information correct at time of publication.