ABOUT DAKAR RALLY
WHAT’S THE DAKAR RALLY
Known for being the toughest rally raid in the world, the Dakar Rally is famous for its desert, mud and mountain pass racing. Driving upwards and over 800km a day in 40-degree heat, drivers and their vehicles have it as tough as they come. The competitor’s technique, mental and physical strength, mechanical skill and navigational skills are necessary to cover the 5000km of racing in just under two weeks. The rally is such a hard endeavor that it is said that “all drivers who complete the race are winners.” This in general results to more than half of the vehicles failing to finish the race. Drivers will come from over 50 countries, fighting against the elements all while watched by one billion television viewers in 190 countries.
Since the beginning in 1979, when 13 of the 74 vehicles that finished were Toyotas, every Dakar Rally has had Toyota vehicles racing in them. Throughout the demanding race, Toyota’s quality, durability, and reliability are evident for all to see. This is especially true in the T2 (Production) category, as there are rigid rules and restrictions on modifications. With so few modifications available, the base performance alone must be enough for the competitors to cross the line. Due to its strength in the rally, Toyota remains a popular vehicle for privateer racers.
The official Toyota team, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa (TGRSA), first entered the T1 (Improved Cross-Country Vehicles) class in 2012 with their Toyota Hilux, and since then the TGRSA Hilux has performed well, earning a spot in the Top 10 every year. Since 2020, the team continues to strive as restructured into a works team of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing.
TLC has been participating in the Dakar Rally for over 25 years since their first rally in 1995 with the Land Cruiser in the T2 (production) category. In this category, the vehicle is as close to the production model as possible, with changes only made for safety reasons and in order to meet rally requirements.
Through this rally, TLC aims to push the Land Cruiser to its limits and forge an even tougher car. Their determination culminated in a one-two finish in 2020, making the team the first ever to achieve seven straight wins in the production category.
HISTORY OF THE DAKAR RALLY
In December of 1978, a young man from France named Thierry Sabine came up with a plan and opened the doors to a world of adventure.
A race starting in Paris, crossing over the Sahara Desert and finishing in the capital of Senegal: Dakar. It became widely known as the Paris-Dakar Rally.
The rally was moved to South America between 2009 and 2019 due to political instability in the region. Then, in the search for renewed adventure, in 2020 it moved to Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.
Despite being located some distance from the original Paris-Dakar, the Dakar name has always been carried over. The name is synonymous with "the world's most extreme rally" and represents the spirit of non-stop adventure. The rally continues to attract large numbers of fans and spectators, capturing their hearts to this day.