Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa revealed their new three-car lineup for the 2019 Dakar, with De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz, Al Attiyah/Baumel and Ten Brinke/Périn being the crews for the updated HiLux-based racer.
The latest evolution of the HiLux racing truck features a mid-engine layout and new suspension geometry for the Dakar race. Power comes from a naturally aspirated V8 which, for the race, will be fitted with a 37mm air intake restrictor.
“The FIA has been working hard to try and balance the performance of the turbodiesel-powered cars and the naturally aspirated V8s, such as ours,” explains Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Halll.
“This is an ongoing process, and while neither camp will probably ever be entirely happy with the rules, we have no choice but to abide by their rules. The smaller restrictor is sure to count against us somewhat this year, but with the lower altitudes of Peru, we may just have enough grunt to make it work regardless.”
The V8 engine is carried over the previous car, as is the gearbox and most of the running gear. For 2019, however, there’s a better suspension setup and more power from the engine. These will help the HiLux in the 2019 Dakar, as the bulk of the race will take place on soft sand in the southern and central Peru.
“The Dakar is an event that you have to take one day at a time, and you should never expect an easy race,” says Hall. “But our car has been significantly honed over the last two years, and we have every reason to be confident as we head to South America.”