While most South African families were celebrating Christmas Day, the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team started their journey to South America for Dakar 2017. The race gets under way on January 2nd, 2017, in the Paraguayan capital of Asunción, but there is still a mass of work to be done before the flag drops for the start.
“The two Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Hilux were shipped to our partners at Toyota Argentina, north of Buenos Aires, at the beginning of December. However, the cars were partly disassembled for shipping, and now need to be fully reassembled and tested,” explains Team Principal, Glyn Hall.
In addition to preparing the race vehicles, the crew also needs to prepare the support vehicles and trucks, which follow the entire Dakar route with personnel and spare parts, tools and the infrastructure needed to service the race vehicles each day.
“The Dakar is a truly mammoth undertaking,” continues Hall. “Our spares inventory includes more than a thousand items, each catalogued according to a system that makes it easy for the logistics manager to find each part on demand.”
Once the race vehicles are fully assembled and all the logistics taken care of, Toyota Gazoo Racing SA will travel from Argentina to Asunción in Paraguay for the opening ceremony of the race.
Dakar 2017 sees Toyota Gazoo Racing SA enter two race proven Toyota Hilux. Car #301 belongs to newcomers to the team, Nasser Al-Attiyah and navigator Mathieu Baumel; while Car #302 is in the hands of Toyota stalwarts Giniel de Villiers and navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz. Al-Attiyah has won the Dakar twice before, while De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz won the first South American edition in 2009.
The race gets under way with a short stage from Asunción, Paraguay, on January 2nd, 2017. Stage 1 will take the teams from Paraguay into the northern regions of Argentina, with a total stage distance of 454 km.
The first bivouac of Dakar 2017 will be at Resistencia, and the race continues from there into Bolivia and back into Argentina, before concluding in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires on January 14th, 2017.
Toyota Gazoo Racing SA acknowledges its sponsors and specialist official supplier and technical partners.
Toyota continues to enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship with Red Bull, Duxbury Netgear, Innovation Group, Toyota Financial Services and SAA Cargo.
Also Hallspeed, TFM, SKF, Spanjaard, Robor, OMP, NGK, Donaldson, Mastercraft, Edgecam, Supreme Springs, Shatterprufe, Smith’s Manufacturing, TRD, Curtis Mobile, Peritus Forex, 4×4 Mega World, First National Battery, SA Sport & Cargo and Overdrive Racing.
Follow the fortunes of Toyota Gazoo Racing SA on www.toyota.co.za