Toyota South Africa announced that it will enter the 33rd Dakar Rally with two South African-built Hilux SP racers and also announced a star-studded team to contest the 9 000 km journey across South America in January.
The team managed my motorsports guru Glyn Hall and sponsored by Imperial Toyota, Duxbury Netgear and the Innovation Group will be headlined by none other than the 2009 Dakar winner Giniel de Villiers and four-time SA off-road champion Duncan Vos. De Villiers’s co-driver is long-time team-mate Dirk von Zitzewitz, who assisted Giniel to the 2009 Dakar win, and Vos will be accompanied by Rob Howie – also his co-driver in the current Off-road championship
“We are very excited and proud to be involved in the 2012 Dakar Rally through Imperial Toyota. It is a legendary event and the longest and toughest motor race in the world. It is the supreme test of man and machine and we will be taking on this challenge with a proudly South African team and a racing version of the best-selling bakkie in South Africa,” says Dr Johan van Zyl, president and CEO of Toyota South Africa Motors.
“We’ve been there before and we know what to expect. It’s a tough event with day-long stages each day and is a massive logistical challenge. We’ve assembled a great team and are privileged to have Giniel with us on this first Dakar with Toyota in the top class. He is one of the few people to have won the Dakar and is rated as one of the top Rally Raid drivers in the world,” says Hall.
The Dakar Rally with start on 1 January on the Atlantic coast of Argentina and will head inland over the Andes Mountains and Atacama desert and will finish on the Pacific coast in the Peruvian capital of Lima on 15 January.