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10 facts about Toyota in Dakar

1. The participation of the Toyota in the super marathon began long before its launch – in May 1978. At the very first poster of Dakar, when the organizers still had no idea who would respond to their invitation, the rally Toyota Celica was depicted, with which the artist generously added clearance and suspension travel. Just before the start, another layout appeared (drawn in the style of a comic book), but with the image of a real participant – Toyota FJ40 of the popular RTL radio station Max Meignier. The “voice” of the marathon led live reports from the scene and gave out survey airs every (!) Day.

Dakar Toyota
2. Toyota along with Land Rover, Range Rover, Mercedes and Peugeot participated in all 40 marathons. In the first of these, a quarter of all cars (98 out of 25) were called Toyota BJ / FJ. True, the best of the “cruisers” finished 10th. A year later, the “toot” was already 32 out of 108, but the quantity did not turn into quality again: the 8th result in the raid 10 thousand km long.

Dakar Toyota
3. It’s hard to believe, but in the very first Dakar on its own Toyota BJ, its organizer Tieri Sabin started. Formally, he was a participant, but rather served as a “closing” crew, coordinating the work of the judicial brigades and the logistics of the “broomstick” – a semi-trailer that picked up motorcycles and cars that had come down.

Dakar Toyota
4. The situation was supposed to change the factory team, which appeared in 1981. But the starlet minicar and the FJ60 SUV with purely Japanese crews were only remembered by the fact that they were constantly stuck and took pictures of everything. But Pierre and Jacques Delfortieri on BJ43 were 7 in the absolute and 2 in the production / Marathon subcategory, and the organizers began to actively use the “cruisers” as communication vehicles, refereeing, medicine, etc. And today the “Toyota” are “official rally cars”.

Dakar Toyota
5. In 1982, the first significant success with pickups Hi-Lux. Having debuted in “Dakar” a year earlier, they distinguished themselves by accuracy rather than speed, finishing in the third ten. Now the best of the crews on the “high-lax” has become the 9th in the absolute and the 1st among diesel cars.

Dakar Toyota
6. Until today’s success, the highest achievement “toet” was the race of the season- 1985. Then the crews of the branded team Parfumes Charles Jourdan finished in 3rd and 4th positions. In many ways, that stable was due to the appearance of the famous French singer Daniel Balavoine (navigator of the second crew), “under which” the perfumers and allocated a budget. Alas, during the next Dakar, Balavuan crashed with Sabin – their helicopter fell during a desert storm in Mali.

Dakar Toyota
7. 1987 is the time of local victories. Although to fight for the “gold” by the specialized studio Koro and Sodemo, based on Toyta LJ73, full-fledged prototypes with Kevlar bodies and 310-horsepower engines were built, to which private Toyotas were more successful in the race. LC Naruhodo Ishihary Yokuto became the best in the Marathon standings (diesel modified cars), and the other three “cruisers” took the entire catwalk in the class of production cars.

Dakar Toyota
8. In 1995, the length of the Dakar was 11 thousand km, which had to be overcome in two weeks. Jacqui X drove the entire marathon alone – in memory of his navigator, who died in the accident a year earlier.

Dakar Toyota
9. A year later, the crew of Team Araco won the first of many victories in the standard car class – in fact, the factory stable Toyota. The Japanese decided to abandon the claims for victory in the absolute, focusing on the production offset. As a result, the “cruisers”, prepared on the T2 class, dominate the “serial” standings until today, collecting a collection of 18 victories in the standard category.

Dakar Toyota
10. For the right to be called the most exotic of the “Dakar” Toyota argue, at least three models. This is, first of all, the fantasy of the artist of the very first poster put up on the title photo. In 1982, it was realized in metal by a big fan of the brand, Pierre Fougere, who crossed the Selick box with the FJ45 chassis and the 5.7-liter Chevrolet Small Black. Secondly, the 6-wheel prototype of the Koro team in 1985 on the same “cruiser” base. Thirdly, the mid-engine coupe MR2 with gullwing doors, built by Toyota Team Holland in 1986. And finally, the most radical creation of Toyota Gazoo Racing SA – rear-wheel pickup Hi-Lux Evo 4×2. Looking back at the success of the Peugeot buggy, South Africans decided to take advantage of the backing for rear-wheel drive cars, in particular, to use a wheel swap system, a 38-mm restrictor, unlimited suspension geometry and an increased outer tire diameter from 805 to 940 cm. Alas, top pilots did not like the handling of the Evo …

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