Toyota HiLux has scored a double podium in the Dakar rally, its best result in the event’s 40-year history and confirmation of Hilux’s durability in the world’s toughest motor sport event.
Toyota GAZOO Racing SA drivers Nasser Al Attiyah and Giniel de Villiers finished second and third outright, with de Villiers victorious in the final stage at Cordoba.
De Villiers pushed throughout the final stage of the gruelling 15-day rally, taking victory by eight minutes.
Earlier, Al Attiyah won four stages to take the runner-up position overall in the rally that involved 4,500km of competition across Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.
“Dakar 2018 was extremely tough,” the Qatari driver said. “But we are very happy to finish in second place overall.
“Of course, we would have been happier with a win, but to have two of our three cars on the podium, is an amazing achievement, and we have every reason to be proud.”
The team’s third driver, Bernhard Ten Brinke, won the longest stage of the event, Stage 11 over the feared Fiambalá dunes.
Al Attiyah and de Villiers with their new Toyota GAZOO Racing SA HiLux entries were one-two in the modified petrol 4×4 vehicle category.
Privately entered HiLux vehicles finished eighth, ninth and tenth outright, giving Toyota five top-ten finishers.
Team LandCruiser Toyota Auto Body won the production division for the fifth consecutive year and Dakar truck legend Teruhito Sugawara with Team Hino Sugawara claimed a ninth successive victory in the up-to-10-litre truck class, giving the Toyota group three category wins.
Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda said the Dakar rally re-affirms the significance of the words “roads make cars”.
“I appreciate the demonstrated performance and potential of the Toyota vehicles that completed the rally, through battling tough conditions, with varied road surfaces, as well as altitude, temperature and climatic changes,” Mr Toyoda said.
“This year and going forward, the Toyota group as a whole will strive to continue to make ever-better cars, by traversing the wide variety of roads and terrains across the world,” he said.