THE 2019 DAKAR RALLY TEAM
TGRSATOYOTA GAZOO Racing
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa (TGRSA) will be entering the Super Production category, fielding a highly revised and refined version of their 2018 4WD Hilux. With enhanced suspension, more engine power and several other tweaks, the 2019 TGRSA Hilux is described by team principal Glyn Hall as “a significantly improved car”. TGRSA will be represented by three teams in the 2019 Rally. In car #301 will be the returning Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah with French navigator Matthieu Baumel. 2018 saw them place on the podium in second overall. In car #302 is committed South African driver Giniel de Villiers with German navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz who have raced together since 2012 and came in third overall in 2018. In car #309 will be returning Dutch driver Bernhard Ten Brinke alongside Frenchman Xavier Panseri, after legendary navigator Michel Perin retired from racing in 2018.
TGRSA - DRIVERS
Driver: Nasser Al-Attiyah- 3rd Dakar Rally with TGRSA
Navigator: Matthieu Baumel- 3rd Dakar Rally with TGRSA4th Dakar Rally together
Driver: Giniel de Villiers- 8th Dakar Rally with TGRSA
Navigator: Dirk von Zitzewitz- 8th Dakar Rally with TGRSA11th Dakar Rally Together
Driver: Bernhard Ten Brinke- 2nd Dakar Rally with TGRSA
Navigator: Xavier Panseri- 1st Dakar Rally with TGRSA1st Dakar Rally Together
TLCTEAM LAND CRUISER
TOYOTA AUTO BODY
Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body (TLC) will be once again piloting two Land Cruisers and competing in the Production category. While the Super Production category allows for heavy modifications, the Production category has harsh restrictions on the modifications available. While there are no major overhauls to the vehicle for next year’s race, heavy testing has been carried out on sandy terrain. These tests include competing in the Rallye du Maroc and exercises in the Saharan desert. These experiences ensured that the drivers were not only used to the desert terrain but were able to thrive in it.
TLC plans to yet again take top podium with their Dakar proven machines and sage and sand tested pilots. Competing in the 2019 Rally are familiar TLC faces, in #349 is TLC Japanese stalwart Akira Miura appearing alongside French navigator Laurent Lichtleuchter for the 4th time together. In the 2018 Rally, Akira Miura picked up his first victory in the Production category as a driver. The pair is joined once again by French driver Christian Lavieille and legendary TLC navigator Jean-Pierre Garcin in #350.
TLC - DRIVERS
Driver: Akira Miura- 11th Dakar Rally with TLC
Navigator: Laurent Lichtleuchter- 4th Dakar Rally with TLC4th Dakar Rally together
Driver: Christian Lavieille- 3rd Dakar Rally with TLC
Navigator: Jean-Pierre Garcin- 13th Dakar Rally with TLC3rd Dakar Rally together
HINO team Sugawara will once again be sending two teams into the Dakar Rally. For the 2019 Dakar Rally, they will be going for their 10th straight victory in the under 10-liter class. In Car 1, #517 is Dakar Rally legend, 77-year-old Yoshimasa Sugawara, competing in his 36th rally. Already satisfied with his machine, Yoshimasa decided to change little for the 2019 rally, only softening the suspension slightly. He will be joined by newcomer Ahito Sakurai, who is taking part in his first Dakar Rally.
His son, Teruhito is in car 2, #510 has a much-changed machine packed with the latest technology. This has improved the shock absorption, riding comfort maneuverability and stability. The machine has a stronger frame, an expanded, and a new cab suspension. Teruhito is joined by long time Hino member Katsumi Hamura, who has teamed up with Yoshimasa 14 times before.
To test out these machines, the teams took on the Silk Way Rally, to see the limits of their vehicles. Joined by a new navigator and team of mechanics, the teams did well and matched other vehicles with much larger engines. The new team of mechanics was put to work with several bits of damage picked up by the vehicles, however, this did not stop both teams from finishing in top 10 positions.
The teams learned a lot about their vehicles and feel more ready than ever about the Dakar Rally 2019.
HINO - DRIVERS
Driver: Yoshimasa Sugawara- 26th Dakar Rally with Hino
Navigator: Ahito Sakurai- 1st Dakar Rally with Hino1st Dakar Rally together
Driver: Teruhito Sugawara- 20th Dakar Rally with Hino
Navigator: Katsumi Hamura- 15th Dakar Rally with Hino1st Dakar Rally together