|SA-Dakar 2012 BLOG: Toyota SA-Team before Argentina "Dakar has begun".|
By Danie van Jaarsveld / Toyota South Africa: So this is it. Endless hours of planning, conceptualising and the mind numbing tedium of turning plans into beautifully prepared race cars has come to an end. The days of promise, expectation, training, undertakings and good intentions have run out.
Things that have not been done by now, will remain undone and the good ideas that have not been put into practice will have to wait for another engagement. The team, the cars, the drivers and their co-pilots are now as ready as they will ever be for this race, and in three weeks time, when the cars arrive in Lima, Peru, we will know how ready that was.
It is time to do battle. Team Imperial Toyota has set sail for Buenos Aires in Argentina to line up at the start of the 2012 edition of the Dakar.
Just over 2,400 m of wiring harness per car, 900 odd component assemblies, rehearsed procedures and the best efforts of some of the best motorsport minds in South Africa will take the battle not only to an equally determined opposition but also to the land, The Patagonian openness, the mighty Andes and the vast desolation of the Atacama desert, the driest place on earth.
Beneath the banter, the jesting and the excitement runs the current of anticipation, the tension of competition. The boys are ready.
Eleven and a half hours after taking off from OR Tambo in Johannesburg, South African Airways (the team's official airline sponsor) Airbus A340-600 touched down in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was another twelve hours of travel by air and by road before they got to their final destination in Zarate, outside Buenos Aires, Argentina.
It has been a long, long day and the preparation of the cars that were flown across the Atlantic earlier in December is just a few hours away. For the new Toyota team, the Dakar has begun.
2011/12/29 | 00:01 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/KOK/VANJAARSVELD