Issue #24:November 24, 2023
On November 20, A.S.O. (Amaury Sport Organisation), the organizer of the Dakar Rally, announced the outline for the 2024 rally, including route details.
Firstly, the host country will be Saudi Arabia, making this the fifth consecutive year that the Dakar Rally will be held in the Middle East. The rally schedule will begin with a prologue run on January 5, 2024, in AlUla in the northwestern part of the country, followed by the main start on January 6. The first half of the race will head to the Empty Quarter, a massive dune area in the southeastern side of the country. The third stage from Al Duwadimi to Al Salamiya and the fourth stage from Al Salamiya to Al-Hofuf will be marathon stages where mechanics will be permitted to service vehicles only for two hours, as they have done in the last rally. Due to the limited time for servicing, the teams must drive with minimal damage to their vehicles. On January 11 and 12, in the sixth stage, "THE 48H CHRONO STAGE*" is to be held for the first time at this year's rally, and rest day will be on January 13 in the capital city of Riyadh.
The second half of the race will pass through Ha'il and AlUla as it heads north from Riyadh, reaching its goal on January 19 in Yanbu which faces the Red Sea on the west coast, making this a 12-stage, 15-day rally. The total distance to be covered is approximately 8,000 km, with 4,700 km of competition sections. People are commenting that this Dakar Rally, the fifth in Saudi Arabia, will be the toughest and most demanding on both the people and the cars.
TLC first introduced their rally vehicles based on the Land Cruiser 300 GR SPORT in the 2023 rally. While the vehicles demonstrated high driving performance, they faced numerous difficulties and were unable to clear all stages, with both vehicles having to deal with day retirement. Immediately after the competition, issues were shared with Toyota Motor Corporation and partner manufacturers and numerous tests were conducted with the aim to improve the durability and reliability of the rally vehicle. Through repeated trial and error, development of the rally vehicle proceeded. The rally car shakedown was held in France on Sunday, November 19. Two vehicles with Dakar Rally 2024 specifications were completed.
We welcome and appreciate your warm and ongoing support for TLC as we aim to clear all stages of the 2024 Dakar Rally to win our 11th consecutive victory in the production car category.
* THE 48H CHRONO STAGE: Competitors must complete approximately 600 km in the Empty Quarter within 48 hours. On the first day of the stage, driving will be cut off at 4 p.m. Because bivouacs will be assigned according to arrival points, cars will not be able to receive support from their teammates if they arrive at the wrong bivouac, meaning they will need to solve more issues alone. For this reason, the stage is expected to be even more difficult than the familiar marathon stage.