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Dakar Rally 2014: Toyota Auto Body T2-team to start with eco-biodiesel.






Since years we always can see a nice battle in the T2-production class - between the Spanish Toyota Land Cruiser of Xavier Foj and the Japanese "Toyota Auto Body" (TLC) factory Land Cruiser, in 2014 with former T2-Dakar winner Jun Mitsuhashi from Japan (born in 1970) and also former T2-winner Nicolas Gibon from France (1981).

Officially TLC is a Japanese team, but since years the crew is a mix of Japanese and Europeans. In the cars, Mitsuhashi will be navigated by French Alain Guehennec - whilst Nicolas Gibon´s navigator will be Akira Miura from Japan. In the mechanics, seven members are from Europe, four from Japan.

Like in 2013, the team will start with two Toyota Land Cruiser VDJ 200, fitted with 4.5 liter twinturbo-diesel engines with 245 hp. With nearly 5 meters the cars are not only long, they are also heavy-duty. As a special feature both cars will run on biodiesel made from used cooking oil, emitting 60 percent less carbon dioxide than regular diesel.

“I want to compete in a Japanese car and with Japanese technology,” driver Jun Mitsuhashi said Wednesday at the official team presentation in Japan. Mitsuhashi has long-standing experience in rallyraid. He started his career on two wheels in the 1999 "UAE Desert Challenge" and participated three times with a bike in the Dakar Rally (2001-2003).

In 2003 he switched in the cars category and became first in the French amateur-rally "AMV Shamrock". From this year he stayed on four wheels and started in all Dakar rallies: 2004 he retired, 2005 11th, 2006 retired, 2007 24th.

"My first Dakar was a real challenge on a bike. All was big, it was so impressive for a rider coming from a small island in Asia. It was the last real ´Paris-Dakar Rally´. When I found myself under the rain in Paris, I realized that my challenge had just begun," Mitsuhashi remembered his first Dakar.

Since the Dakar is on South American soil in 2009, he has improved his position: In 2010 and 2011 he clinched the T2 production-class title and in 2012 he became 2nd behind Xavier Foy from Spain. In 2013 Mitsuhashi he had to retire - and the winner was again Xavier Foy.

Also Nicolas Gibon is a big talent. He started his Dakar-career in 2002 on the wheels of a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and switched to the T1-prototype class with a Bowler Wildcat in 2007 - in this year he reached the 18th position from 180 cars and won the amateur class.

Since 2009 he is involved in the T2 Toyota Auto Body team and directly won the T2-production class. After a break to finish his private house, in 2012 Toyota contacted him again and with "his" VDJ200 he participated in the Pharaons Rally in Egypt as preparation for the Dakar 2013, in which he achieved the second position in T2 (behind Foy).

In 2014 both Toyota teams from Spain and Japan will have more competitors in the T2 class - the most (sure) with a Toyota Land Cruiser 200. All aim for the title - and to be honest, in the T2 production class the chances are much more better for each partipant: Because the cars due to the strict regulations are very similar, it depends more on driver and navigator than in technology...

2013/12/17 | 23:11 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS











Dakar Rally 2014: Nani Roma und Michel Périn win the legendary desert rally. | 20.01.2014 20:07 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Xavier Foj and Toyota achieves third place in T2 cars class. | 20.01.2014 19:56 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Honda Team HRC satisfied with 2014, begins work for 2015. | 20.01.2014 19:46 |




Dakar Rally 2014: GWM/Haval achieves another Top 10 position in Dakar 2014. | 20.01.2014 19:38 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Solid finish for Lucio Alvarez and new Ford Racing team. | 20.01.2014 19:32 |




Dakar Rally 2014: De Villiers and Dabrowski as 4th and 7th best Toyotas. | 19.01.2014 21:46 |




Dakar Rally 2014: 2013 winner Cyril Despres finishing fourth after tough race. | 19.01.2014 21:23 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Ronan Chabot and Gilles Pillot in fast finish in the Dakar. | 19.01.2014 21:14 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Team El Martillo Racing finished in their first Dakar Rally. | 19.01.2014 20:15 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Riwald Dakar Team crosses the finish line in Valparaiso. | 19.01.2014 20:01 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: TRUCKS daily and overall after SS12 on Friday | 18.01.2014 00:45 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: CARS daily and overall after SS12 on Friday | 18.01.2014 00:43 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: BIKES daily and overall after SS12 on Friday | 18.01.2014 00:42 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Orlando Terranova celebrates his first stage win in SS11. | 17.01.2014 02:51 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Strong show from Argentine Alvarez in arid Atacama in SS11. | 17.01.2014 02:21 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Team HRC riders overcome long stage and maintain posis. | 17.01.2014 01:54 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Third stage victory for overall bikes leader Marc Coma. | 17.01.2014 01:47 |




Dakar Rally 2014: No surprises for Speedbrain team in Atacama stage 11. | 17.01.2014 01:41 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: TRUCKS daily and overall after SS11 on Thursday | 17.01.2014 01:36 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: CARS daily and overall after SS11 on Thursday | 17.01.2014 00:31 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: BIKES daily and overall after SS11 on Thursday | 16.01.2014 23:25 |




Dakar Rally 2014: The tenth stage brought gold - Stagewin for Czech Loprais. | 16.01.2014 22:48 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Team Dessoude with the last two cars reached the finish SS10. | 16.01.2014 22:46 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Ford´s Alvarez - "We handled it well and did a good job". | 16.01.2014 22:42 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Carlos Sainz "I'm really disappointed to be out of the race". | 16.01.2014 21:17 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Robby Gordon and his HST Gordini 22nd after Stage 10. | 16.01.2014 20:32 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Great Wall Haval and Lavieille moves up after Stage 10. | 16.01.2014 20:27 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Iveco-pilot Gerard de Rooy still on the lead after SS10. | 16.01.2014 20:00 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Mini´s are leading 1-2-3, second stagewin for Al Attiyah. | 16.01.2014 01:55 |




Dakar Rally 2014 BLOG: Dongfeng Challenge heading forward to Antofagasta. | 16.01.2014 01:54 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: TRUCKS daily and overall after SS10 Wednesday | 16.01.2014 00:29 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Spectacular double for Honda - Barreda still second overall. | 15.01.2014 23:40 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Bad luck for Speedbrain - Israel Esquerre out after crash. | 15.01.2014 23:37 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Coma continues to lead the Dakar after SS10 Antofagasta. | 15.01.2014 22:26 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: CARS daily and overall after SS10 on Wednesday | 15.01.2014 21:52 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: BIKES daily and overall after SS10 on Wednesday | 15.01.2014 21:23 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: TRUCKS daily and overall after SS09 on Tuesday | 15.01.2014 01:16 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: CARS daily and overall after SS09 on Tuesday | 14.01.2014 23:14 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: BIKES daily and overall after SS09 on Tuesday | 14.01.2014 22:33 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Gerard De Rooy 2nd in SS08 with only a little loss of time. | 14.01.2014 22:31 |




















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