Toyota SA will be supporting the 4th round of the 2017 Dakar Challenge, which will form part of the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1 000 Desert Race. This iconic race is round three of the South African Cross Country Series (SACCS), and will take place in the area around the mining town of Jwaneng, on 23-25 June 2017.
The Dakar Challenge is an annual series, run in conjunction with several global cross-country races. The winner of each round of the challenge is invited to take part in Dakar 2018, with their entry fees waived as reward. This is only open to privateers, who have not taken part in the Dakar Rally in the past
The five-round Dakar Challenge will have the first three dedicated to motorcycles, and the last two rounds catering for cars. Toyota’s sponsorship of the Dakar Challenge, as part of the Desert Race, opens the door for local competitors to compete on the Dakar Rally at a vastly reduced cost.
Dakar Challenge rounds 1-3 (bikes):
Sonora Rally in Mexico, 21-23 March
India Baja, 7-9 April
Merzouga Rally of Morocco, 7-13 May
Dakar Challenge rounds 4-5 (cars):
Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1 000 Desert Race, 23-25th June
Baja Aragon in Spain, 21-23 July
Toyota’s own crews, campaigning as the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team, will not be eligible to win the Dakar Challenge but this won’t dampen the highly professional team’s motivation to win the Desert Race.
“Both Giniel de Villiers and Leeroy Poulter are chomping at the bit, waiting for the cross country season to start,” says Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall. “The first round – the Lichtenburg 400 on 31 March and 1 April – is just a couple of weeks away, but we’re already looking forward to the Desert Race.”
Local fans can look forward to seeing South Africa’s former Dakar winner, Giniel de Villiers, in action on all six rounds of this year’s SACCS. He will be partnered in the car by former champion navigator Dennis Murphy. Leeroy Poulter and navigator Rob Howie are the defending double champions, and will offer stiff competition to their teammates.
Source: Toyota SA