Dakar 2019 - Latest evolution of Toyota Hilux promises speed an reliability

Dakar 2019 - Latest evolution of Toyota Hilux promises speed an reliability

30.11.2018: Toyota Gazoo Racing SA will be fielding the very latest version of its race-proved Toyota Hilux at Dakar 2019. This latest evolution represents the pinnacle of development, which started with the very first Toyota Hilux Dakar challenger in 2012. That car

Toyota Gazoo Racing SA will be fielding the very latest version of its race-proved Toyota Hilux at Dakar 2019. This latest evolution represents the pinnacle of development, which started with the very first Toyota Hilux Dakar challenger in 2012. That car achieved a second place overall on debut, and the last six years has seen incredible advances in the car.



Dakar 2018 saw the introduction of an all-new version of the Toyota Hilux. At the time, Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall, described the new car as “a technological leap forward”, and the car certainly proved itself from the get-go, with a second and third place at Dakar 2018.



The 2018 car was a radically altered machine, with a new engine layout and suspension geometry. Even so, it incorporated everything the team had learnt over the five years preceding its introduction.


The car, known internally as the IMA model of the Toyota Hilux, features an Independent rear suspension, Mid-mounted engine, and All-wheel drive. The engine sits just behind the front wheels, in between and slightly below the crew. The independent rear suspension has been retained, though the suspension geometry was all-new, due to the new configuration of the car.



Now the latest evolution is ready to take on Dakar 2019, and Hall is quick to point out that, while the overall layout is similar to that of the 2018 car, the new car has been refined significantly.





“We’ve carried over the naturally aspirated V8 engine from the previous car, and have also retained the gearbox and most of the running gear,” continues Hall. “But we’ve been honing the Hilux throughout 2018. As such we have a better suspension setup, more power from the engine and many other small tweaks that add up to a significantly improved car.”


Most of the testing for Dakar 2019 took place during the six rounds of the South African Cross-Country Series, which Toyota won as manufacturer. However, further testing was done during the Qatar Cross-Country Rally, as well as the Rally of Morocco, which Nasser Al Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel won in their South African Toyota Hilux.



In terms of other equipment, the Toyota Hilux IMA sports the same running gear as in the previous version, which means that the reliability of the previous car is retained, and paired with the sharper handling and better balance of the new layout.



“The Dakar is an event that you have to take one day at a time, and you should never expect an easy race,” says Hall. “But our car has been significantly honed over the last two years, and we have every reason to be confident as we head to South America.”






 
DAKAR 2019: THE ROUTE – 100% PERU




Dakar 2019 will see a return to the South America country of Peru, which also played host to the first half of the 2018 event. But in a new twist, 100% of Dakar 2019 will take place in the desert landscapes of southern and central Peru.



As in 2018, the race will get under way on January 6th, in the Peruvian capital of Lima. A ceremonial start will officially mark the beginning of the 41st edition of the Dakar Rally, though the action starts on January 7th, when Stage 1 will see the crews race their way to the coastal town of Pisco.



From there the rally will snake its way down the coast, before turning inland for stages 4 and 5, leading up to the rest day in the city of Arequipa. After the rest day, the route is largely reversed, with the event coming to an end on January 17th, back in the city of Lima.






The organisers of the Dakar Rally, the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) have promised that Dakar 2019 will feature 70% sand across its ten racing stages. The total distance covered by the crews will be less than in previous years, at roughly 5,000 km. But of that, 3,000 km will be spent racing. Temperatures are expected to reach 40 Celsius regularly, and the soft sand will make this one of the most challenging Dakars in the event’s 41-year history.








Vincent Dewaersegger- Photos TGR and DPPI (Route)

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30.11.2018 / MaP

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