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With just two days to go to the start of the 2013 Dakar Rally in Lima, Peru, on 5 January, the Toyota SA team say they're “good to go”.
It's been a hectic few days since the team flew in from Johannesburg on 28 December - both of their Hilux 4x4s have been reassembled in Toyota Peru's workshop, the six tonnes of spares and equipment needed to support the 15-day race have been off-loaded and packed into the team's support trucks and both bakkies have successfully completed two days of shake-down testing.
Team manager Glyn Hall said: “The test area provided us with just the right terrain - big sand dunes and camel grass, and a 10km gravel road that included crossing a dry river bed. We worked through the tests we had planned and found the best settings, and the two crews practised with the sand ladders and tested different tyre pressures.
“We just have scrutineering and documentation to complete in the next few days and then the long build-up is over. We're well prepared - better than last time, I think.”
2009 Dakar Rally winners Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz will start Saturday's opening special stage in second behind former winner Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar and Lucas Cruz of Spain in an American-built V8 buggy. South African off-road champions Duncan Vos and Rob Howie will start 13th.
Saturday's stage consists of a 250km liaison section followed by a 13km special stage that will end in Pisco.