Toyota Gazoo Racing SA will be tackling the 2016 Dakar Rally in the New Generation Hilux, which debuts in South Africa during February 2016, in its quest for victory.
The 2016 Dakar Rally takes place from 2 to 16 January in Argentina and Bolivia.
Driving pleasure, fun and racing excellence is what the Japanese word gazoo, incorporated into the new team name of Toyota Gazoo Racing SA, means.
The latest evolution of the locally developed and built race Toyota Hilux features a new engine and transmission, and refined suspension and electronic systems.
With a highly reliable V8 motor it generates in the region of 285 kW of power and over 600 Nm of torque. Most of the torque available from as low as 2,000 r/min, giving the Toyota Hilux the oomph it needs to tackle even the biggest dunes.
The transmission features a larger centre differential that is lighter than the system used in previous years and a new gearbox.
These vehicles will be crewed by Dakar veteran Giniel de Villiers and his long-serving German navigator, Dirk von Zitzewitz; South African Cross-Country champions Leeroy Poulter and navigator Rob Howie; and Saudi racing sensation Yazeed Al Rajhi and German navigator Timo Gottschalk.
This year, Al Rahji and Gottschalk raced a privately-entered Toyota Hilux during the Dakar Rally, and put in an impressive performance remaining in third place until a technical problem scuppered their efforts. Now, as part of the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team, Al Rahji and Gottschalk will enjoy additional support and the expertise of the technical crew on the event.
The Dakar Rally will kick off in Buenos Aires on 2 January 2016. This is followed by 13 tough stages, stretching away from Buenos Aires and into Bolivia, before turning southwards again to the finish in the Argentine city of Rosario two weeks later.
Peru has withdrawn from the race, so the 2016 edition will take place largely in Argentina but it will also include stages that will be raced at high altitude on the plains of Bolivia (altiplano).
“The Dakar remains an amazingly tough race,” says Team Principal of Toyota Gazoo Racing SA, Glyn Hall. “There are many surprises along the way, and winning it is never easy.”
Toyota Gazoo Racing SA for the Dakar Rally
CAR 1: Race number 301
Driver – Giniel de Villiers (RSA)
Navigator – Dirk von Zitzewitz (Germany)
CAR 2: Race number 316
Driver – Leeroy Poulter (RSA)
Navigator – Rob Howie (RSA)
CAR 3: Race number 305
Driver – Yazeed Al Rajhi (Saudi Arabia)
Navigator – Timo Gottschalk (Germany)