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SAA Cargo supports Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team at Dakar 2018

2018-01-04 13:56

Image: Supplied

Johannesburg - South African Airways Cargo (SAA Cargo) is proud to be the air freight partner of the Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Team for the 2018 Dakar Rally, which takes place from 6 to 20 January in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. The race is often billed as one of the toughest motorsport events in the world. It is viewed as a test of team endurance and vehicle durability.

The partnership has been in place since 2012 and involves transportation of the racing vehicles to São Paulo, Brazil, en route to Lima, Peru, for the start. The shipment consists of three vehicles and spares, weighing about 7 941 kg.

It takes about 16 hours for the shipment to reach its destination with 11 hours spent on the aircraft. “Our partnership remains key to us as the airfreight division of the national carrier. We get the opportunity to showcase SAA Cargo’s operational capability on a world stage. There is about two months’ preparation before the vehicles are transported to ensure that the vehicles get there without any hassles. Our priority is the needs of the client as without them we do not have a business. All of this is achieved through team effort and hard work,” said Tleli Makhetha, SAA Cargo’s General Manager.

“In motor racing, development of the race vehicle is critical,” says Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall. “Development takes time, and our partnership with SAA Cargo means that we don’t have to rely on sea freight to send our cars to South America. This gives us a significant advantage in our development strategy.”

The 40th edition of the Dakar Rally will start in Lima, Peru, proceed to La Paz, Bolivia, and end in Cordoba, Argentina, on 20 January 2018. The event takes place over a period of 15 days and 14 racing stages; and the 450 cars, trucks, motorcycles, and quads will cover a total distance of some 9 500 kilometres of which 5 000 are against the clock.

“The team has over the years continued to impress by achieving Top Five finishes in every Dakar they have entered. We have no doubt that they will do us proud in their endeavour to achieve great results,” said Makhetha.

Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team will be represented by veteran driver Giniel de Villiers and navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz, driver Nasser Al Attiyah and navigator Mathieu Baumel, and new comers to the team, driver Bernard ten Brinke and navigator Michel Périn.

Interesting Facts:

·         The racing vehicles are designed in line with size restrictions for commercial cargo holds and thus built in such a way they can be disassembled to the size of a cargo pallet and container to be used;

·         It takes about three (3) hours to disassemble each car and six (6) hours to reassemble;

·         Each car weighs approximately 2 000 kilogrammes;


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