Toyota Gazoo Racing cleared the final hurdles before taking to the start podium for Dakar 2020 in Jeddah on January 4th.
Prior to the podium ceremony, the four Toyota Hilux race vehicles were meticulously examined by the technical scrutineers of the race, before getting the all-clear to start Stage 1 on January 5th.
“This is quite a process, which all the crews and the competitors, as well as the support crews need to complete,”
says Toyota Gazoo Racing Team Principal, Glyn Hall.
“Our cars sailed through the process without a hitch, and with the start podium also done, all that remains is to go racing.”
The four Toyota Hilux race cars will leave the Saudi city of Jeddah before sunrise on Sunday, January 5th, in order to complete the liaison to the start of Stage 1, which kicks off at 09:20 local time.
The stage has been billed as a ‘mini-Dakar’, as the organisers say that the competitors will encounter a taste of all the terrain types expected over the remainder of the 12-stage race. At 319 km in length, the opener is no walk in the park, and the navigators will need to pay close attention to the road book in order to ensure competitive stage times.
Stage 1 will see the cars setting off in number order, with Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel (No. 300) opening the road. Giniel de Villiers and Alex Haro (No. 304) will be the second Toyota Hilux into the stage, with Bernhard ten Brinke and Tom Colsoul (No. 307) and Fernando Alonso, partnered with Marc Coma in the No. 310 Toyota Hilux.
The 42nd edition of the Dakar Rally is the first to take place in Saudi Arabia, and consists of 12 stages covering varied terrain types. The race will end on January 17th, in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
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