Edgecam continues sponsorship and relationship that dates back to 2006.
Toyota South Africa Motors and Toyota Gazoo Racing SA are excited to announce significant changes to its strategy for Dakar 2017 and beyond. This includes a revolutionary new race vehicle, known as the Toyota Hilux Evo as well as the inclusion of multiple winner of the Dakar Rally, Nasser Al-Attiyah, in the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA squad.
“It is an exciting time for us,” says Toyota SA Motors’ Glenn Crompton, Vice-President, Marketing. “We firmly believe in the Dakar Rally as a means to showcase our technological advances and the legendary toughness of the Toyota Hilux. The arrival of the new vehicle is the next step on this spectacular journey, and we welcome the Toyota Hilux Evo to our stable.”
The new race vehicle sports two-wheel-drive and conforms to all the rules as set out by the FIA, and used by the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), organisers of the Dakar Rally. This means the vehicle sports a significantly lower overall weight of 1 300 kg as a target, versus the 1 915 kg of the 4×4 version of the Toyota Hilux. It also features larger wheels and tyres of 940mm (in diameter) versus 805mm for 4×4, significantly greater suspension travel and an onboard tyre inflation/deflation system.
In addition to the new vehicle, the team is also overjoyed at the inclusion of former Dakar winner and newly crowned FIA Cross Country World Cup Champion Nasser Al-Attiyah and his navigator Matthieu Baumel, in the team. Al-Attiyah was rated as the FIA’s top driver during 2015, and will certainly bolster the team’s chances during Dakar 2017.
Al-Attiyah will join Giniel de Villiers and Leeroy Poulter in the driver line-up for 2017, while De Villiers will again be partnered by long-standing German navigator, Dirk von Zitzewitz. Poulter will have Rob Howie beside him in the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Hilux, for their fourth Dakar together.
“Essentially, this is our take on what a two-wheel-drive Dakar challenger should be,” says Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall. “We’ve taken all the testing and real-world experience we gained with the four-wheel-drive Toyota Hilux over the past five years, and repackaged it in the lighter, faster Toyota Hilux Evo.”
Under its skin, the Toyota Hilux Evo features an innovative layout that sees all essential components – the engine and transmission – housed between the two axles. This gives the vehicle an advantage over its competitors in terms of weight distribution, and with all the heaviest components placed near the bottom of the vehicle, the centre of gravity is lower than ever before. More freedom in the regulations allowed the engineers to explore new ideas and avenues.
“The important thing for us was to retain as much as possible from the previous vehicle in terms of suspension setup and engine tech,” continues Hall. “With this in mind we’ve stayed with the same proven, state-of-the-art V8 engine, and used all our knowledge when designing and setting up the suspension.”
Years of dedication and planning go into the manufacture of the Dakar-specification Toyota Hilux and Edgecam CAM software plays a pivotal role in swiftly producing high precision parts for these top-performing motorsport cars developed in the high-tech ‘garage’ of Hallspeed, located on the perimeter of the famous South African Kyalami Race Track.
Each car must have between 4000 and 5000 components that make up the finished vehicle. Approximately 80% of these components are manufactured inhouse on Hallspeed’s CNC lathe and machining centre with the balance, which are mainly specialised components, outsourced to local machine shops and a few that are based internationally.
The South African distributors of Edgecam, Stillam CNC Programming Solutions, have had a relationship with Hallspeed and Toyota Gazoo Racing SA since 2006. Stillam continues to provide Hallspeed with the latest version of the software as it is released.
“By their very nature, racing cars are never really finished and components always need to be modified. Designs are created inhouse and the solid model imported seamlessly into Edgecam. This allows us to accurately visualise the part, apply material, analyse it, and decide what cutting tools we’re going to use and which machine tool we’ll programme it for. Edgecam has helped us accelerate our sign-off process for the race,” said Hall.
Toyota Gazoo Racing SA acknowledges its sponsors and specialist official suppliers and technical partners, which include Hallspeed, TFM, SKF, Spanjaard, Robor, OMP, NGK, Donaldson, Mastercraft, Supreme Springs, Ferodo, Shatterprufe, Smith’s Manufacturing, TRD, Peritus Forex, Mapa, TFS and 4×4 Mega World. Also included are Duxbury Netgear, Innovation Group and SAA Cargo.