JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – The Toyota Gazoo off-road racing team has been cleared to race in the 2020 Dakar Rally to be run for the first time in Saudi Arabia with the liaison
The four Toyota Hilux race vehicles – along with all other competitors – were meticulously examined by technical scrutineers and team boss Glyn Hall told The Corner in a media release: “This is quite a process but our bakkies sailed through the process – all that remains is to go racing.”
The Hilux racers left Jeddah before dawn to complete the liaison to the start of Stage 1 at 09h20 local time.
Toyota says the 319km stage has been billed as a ‘mini-Dakar’ as competitors will encounterall the terrains they will have to cover through the 12-stage race. Navigators will need to pay close attention to the road book to ensure competitive stage times.
Stage 1 will see the cars leave in number order with Gazoo’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel (No. 300) opening the road. Giniel de Villiers and Alex Haro (No. 304) will be the second Hilux into the stage followed by Bernhard ten Brinke and Tom Colsoul (No. 307) and former F1 driver Fernando Alonso, partnered with Marc Coma, in the No. 310 Hilux.
This the 42nd edition of the Dakar will be the first in Saudi Arabia and consists of 12 stages over varied terrain types. The race will end on January 17 in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.