Settling down. Today's 8th stage of the 2012 Dakar was a day of consolidation for team Imperial Toyota. The long hard stretches (some of the straights were in excess of 20km long) showed that the Imperial Toyota Hilux's lacked the straight line speed to beat the unrestricted Hummers and turbo-diesel Minis. On the positive side, the three South African Toyotas finished 6th (Giniel), 9th (Lucio) and 10th (Duncan), the first time that all the cars finished in the top ten.
If one considers the might and the money that the South African cars are competing against, this is a remarkable achievement, one that kept team spirits in the bivouac high.
This leaves them 5th, 9th and 11th overall. Duncan's 10th place means that he will start ahead of the trucks with a three minute dust gap tomorrow morning, which will offer welcome relief from the time he has spent behind the behemoths over the last two days.
One of the most pleasing aspects of the Hilux's performance to date is the bullet-proof reliability with which the machines have run up to this point, testament to the hard work, thoroughness and dedication of Glyn Hall's team of technicians.
Tomorrow sees the teams heading north to Iquique, a 379km long stage that culminates in a sheer 2,5km drop down a massive dune at the finish.
The Imperial Toyotas will be hoping to stay in the hunt, consolidate their top ten positions and possibly take advantage of any misfortune that may befall the opposition.
Toyota Motorsport Acknowledges Its Dakar Sponsors and Specialist Official Supplier and Technical Partners
IMPERIAL Toyota, Duxbury Netgear, Innovation Group, SAA, TFM, 4x4 Mega World, Blue Sky Satellite Communications, Castrol, NGK, SKF, Ferodo, Spanjaard, Edgecam, Mastercraft, Donaldson, Oakley, Sparco, Shatterprufe and Supreme Spring.
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