Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 23 Jan 2018
It was some two years back that I attended the FIA World Rallycross in Cape Town and had the opportunity to meet legendary driver Nasser al Attiyah and take a glimpse at the upcoming Dakar Rally car for the 2018 race in which he would be driving. In a room packed with incredible presence, occasion and a true sense of Toyota Kaizen, it was clear that a win for the incredible team was certainly on the cards within the very near future.
Set in what is arguably the toughest terrain anywhere on the planet, the Dakar Rally is a race like no other. It pushes not just the individuals, but entire teams to the very limit of what is humanly and from an engineering point of view nearly impossible. From massive sand dune drop-offs to loose rocks, mud, sand and gravel with often zero visibility, it is a race simply to test who will be crowned best of the best.
The 2019 Dakar Rally would see Toyota enter its legendary Nasser al Attiyah with co-driver Mathieu Baumel and Giniel de Villiers with co-driver Dirk Von Zitzewitz all set with the support of many dedicated men and women and under the close watchful eye of team principal Glyn Hall. In a stage set entirely in one country within South America, it was to be one of the toughest Dakar races in the history of the sport, but also one of the most gripping.
The Legends And Their Tools
The Toyota Hilux has proven its track record over decades, it has been both a local and international top-seller for longer than I care to remember. Its no-nonsense rugged build, advanced technology, and “It Just Keeps Going Right” attitude made it the perfect weapon for a team of incredibly skilled drivers, co-drivers, engineers and management team to tackle the monumental task.
Having been given the opportunity to meet the drivers both at the end of 2017 and now in 2019 after their win, it is clear that Toyota’s commitment to Kaizen reflects in both their attitudes and within the products which the brand continues to build.
Last year Toyota took first prize at the 24-hours of Lemans, this year they took first prize at Dakar. If they say that “a picture says 1000 words,” the one below from Dakar 2019 says it all!