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2019-01-07 09:45
Toyota Gazoo Racing dakar

Image: Motorpress

Toyota Gazoo Racing SA has completed the final tests of the new Toyota Hilux, in preparation for the 2019 Dakar Rally, which gets underway with a ceremonial start podium in the evening of 6 January, 2019.

"All three crews tested in the big dunes near Lima this week, and have declared themselves more than happy with the performance of the Toyota Hilux," said Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Manager, Glyn Hall, after the test sessions.

'A mammoth task'

"We’ve also finalised the suspension setup for the big dunes, and all three crews will be starting on a near-identical damper setup," Hall added.

WATCH: All roads lead to the 2019 Dakar Rally

"It really is a mammoth task, but our experience since first competing in 2012 has taught us a lot, and we’ve got the operation streamlined to the point where we find ourselves fully prepared ahead of schedule," continued Hall.

Since arriving in the Peruvian capital of Lima, the team has been hard at work reassembling the three Toyota Hilux race vehicles; preparing the support trucks; and packing the thousands of spares and pieces of equipment that is required to take on the world’s toughest automotive race.

Tough road ahead

Next up for the team are the rigorous technical checks, which are required before the cars will be allowed to start the race. This entails administrative checks for all team members, as well as physical checks to ensure that the Toyota Hilux conforms to the latest rules of the race.

Toyota Gazoo Racing dakar

                                                                           Image: Motorpress

With the checks done, all that remains for the team is to go racing. The race kicks off with a ceremonial start in downtown Lima on 6th January, after which the opening stage will see the teams leave Lima for the coastal town of Pisco, via some massive dunes before heading further south to San Juan de Marcona.

"Dakar 2019 promises to be an exciting race for us. It is exactly ten years since Giniel and Dirk last won the Dakar, and while all three our crews will be pushing for victory, I know that Giniel is aiming to bring home the big trophy this year," concluded Hall.

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