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Toyota to clear Dakar prep hurdle

2013-12-10 10:47

PREPPING FOR DAKAR 2014: Will Toyota SA’s Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz be able to trump Stephane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret at the 2014 Dakar Rally? Image: MOTORPRESS

Toyota SA is engaged in a race of a different kind as it grapples with the massive task of packing six tons of equipment for the 2014 Dakar Rally in South America.

On December 13 2013 both of Toyota Hilux 4x4s, partially disassembled and loaded on SAA Cargo pallets, along will equipment needed for the 13 racing days, must be delivered to OR Tambo International Airport for the long flight to Argentina.


Team principal Glyn Hall said: “It’s a bit crazy around here just now. We have to take absolutely everything we need to look after the two race vehicles.  That means spares for virtually every component of each of the two Toyota Imperial Hilux 4x4s. There are about 4000 individual items.”

The 21-strong team (consisting of drivers, co-drivers, engineer, physiotherapist, technicians and team manager) will arrive in Buenos Aires on December 29 and head to Toyota’s Argentina assembly plant Zerate. 

The Hilux bakkies will be reassembled for a final test in Rosario, the starting point of the rally on January 2 2014. Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz start in third position in Hilux #302 while team mates Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie will start in 23rd position in Hilux #323 on January 5 2014.   

Hall said: “We also have a logistics truck that carries what we need to set up our pits and sleeping quarters at the bivouac – ‘easy-ups’, ground sheets, tents, sleeping bags and consumables.

“During the race the rest of us travel a more direct route between bivouacs than the competitors in two Toyota Fortuners and a Land Cruiser Prado. Packing and unpacking for the Dakar and moving everything from South Africa to Argentina and Chile, before returning home, is a massive operation which has to be carried out with military precision.

“There’s a lot of paperwork involved including customs clearance leaving and returning to South Africa as well as for our passage through the two South American countries.”


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