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Without any Letup All the Lead Drivers Completed the Long 1,024-km Trek.


Without any Letup All the Lead Drivers Completed the Long 1,024-km Trek. Bernhard(#315 OVERDRIVE TOYOTA) Finished 5th in the Stage.

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The remaining competitors today headed southeast toward the finish in BUENOS AIRES. They ran a 1,024-km course in a dash to ROSARIO, where the DAKAR 2014 began. Until today, the stages passed through barren landscapes of sand and desert, but as they advanced southward, the vista became greener, a balm to the competitors' spirits as they ran.

Since the road was firm from first to last, it was not too difficult to drive. Neither was navigation a problem, but there were some steep drop-offs along sections of the winding route. It is important for co-drivers to accurately inform drivers of warnings and forks in the road described in the route book. As always there was no room for mistakes in the stage.

The HILUXES could not claim top positions today, but BERNHARD TEN BRINKE (#315 OVERDRIVE TOYOTA) ran with gusto, finishing 5th in the stage, 13 seconds behind NASSER AL-ATTIYAH (QATAR RALLY TEAM) who is 1st overall. GINIEL DE VILLIERS (#303 IMPERIAL TOYOTA) finished 12th in the stage. "I decided to drive safely today," he said, "because we must get to the podium in BUENOS AIRES without fail." After completing 8,700 km, the time difference between NASSAR and GINIEL, who is 2nd overall, is 35 minutes and 39 seconds. GINIEL is not about to give up.

In the Production Category, JUN MITSUHASHI (#343 TEAM LAND CRUISER) reached the finish line 1st in the stage. JUN has a firm grip on back-to-back titles in the Production Category.

Tomorrow's stage is the last, 393 km including a 174-km SS (Special Stage) to BUENOS AIRES, where the winner's podium is located. The start of DAKAR 2015 was eventful. Last year's champion was out of the running for a top position on the first day due to a problem with his machine. The distance remaining is short, but we can't know what surprises might remain until the rally ends.


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Long Distance Comfort is a Boon to Competitors

The stage from TERMAS RIO HONDO to ROSARIO is the longest in the DAKAR 2015 at 1,024 km. Following a 248-km asphalt Liaison Section, competitors entered the 298-km SS (Special Stage). The key to maintaining concentration during the important SS is minimizing fatigue in the Liaison Section.


After reaching the finish line of the SS, tired competitors ran a 478-km Liaison Section. The HILUX and the Land Cruiser, both of which even as production vehicles have acquired solid reputations, have superior off-road capability, but as well offer comfort, which minimizes driver fatigue even on long hauls. When the going gets tough these vehicles help competitors maintain their concentration; when the battle subsides, they gently envelop both mind and body. These vehicles are reliable partners for competitors.