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Dakar 2015 Blog 5: Toyota continues to put pressure on Al-Attiyah

Dakar 2015 Blog 5
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E The Toyota Hilux is actually not in pickup in the narrower sense. Because a decent pickup needs a decent loading area. And you won't find that in the South African-built prototypes of the Hallspeed team. Viewed from the side, the Hilux pretends to be the standard shape. But if you stand in the back of the Hilux, you can see - not much, except for a few struts.

Because there is now emptiness in the rear, where the spare wheels were still standing last year. The spare tires are now pushed under the seats. This results in a much more favorable weight distribution. After all, a bike weighs around 30 kilos.

Toyota with more power and less weight

The Toyota achieved the second significant improvement at the green table - thanks to persistent complaints about the lower engine power compared to the mini-diesel. The kind gentlemen of the world federation FIA approved the Toyota petrol engine to have a larger air flow limiter. The five-liter V8 now delivers 380 hp, around 30 hp more than before. For comparison: the three-liter diesel in the Mini has 330 hp, but still has a slight plus in torque due to its principle. 800 Newton meters - that's a word.

Toyota is also playing another rule change: The minimum weight of the Hilux has recently been 100 kilos below that of the Mini. Due to the higher fuel consumption, however, the Toyota have to fill up more. This handicap is, of course, the lower the closer the special stage draws to its end. There is a tie between the tires and the shock absorbers. Mini and Hilux roll on Michelins and the dampers come from the Dutch specialist Reiger.

'The car drives much, much better than last year's Hilux,' says Giniel de Villiers. 'Now we can finally be on par with them Mini fight. That gives me additional motivation. “On the day off, the South African and his German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz are in second place, just eight minutes behind front runner Nasser Al-Attiyah in the Mini.

Al-Attiyah drives without pressure

De Villiers is backed by a surprise man: The Arab Yazeed Al Rajhi, who is contesting his first Dakar rally, is 18 minutes behind still have a chance to win. A largeThe experienced German navigator Timo Gottschalk is a plus point for Al Rajhi. 'For me, Timo is one of the best five co-drivers in the world,' says Al-Rajhi with a smile. 'He doesn't slow me down. It's good. Because if a co-driver tries to brake his driver, you're too slow. ”

Mini-man Nasser Al-Attiyah doesn't let the jostling Toyota drive him crazy. However, the Qatari had to fight hard in Bolivia. 'Because of the thin air, I got a terrible head hum. With every hit, every hole and every bump, I thought my head was about to be ripped off.' There was also nausea. Al-Attiyah had to throw up three times in Bolivia.

In the evening, on the Pacific beach of Iquique, the world looked completely different for Al-Attiyah. 'I need a decent steak first,' he growled. 'For the past two days I haven't had anything but tea and soup.' Pressure? 'Oh what,' says the Qatari. 'I know that I can drive faster than the others without taking too great risks.'


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