SAA Cargo rallies to fly race cars for Dakar competition

05 / 01 / 2018

  • SAA Cargo rallies to fly race cars for Dakar competition

    SAA Cargo rallies to fly race cars for Dakar competition

South African Airways Cargo (SAA Cargo) has once again partnered with the Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Team to provide transportation services ahead of the 2018 Dakar Rally.

The partnership, which has been running since 2012, sees SAA Cargo transport three vehicles and spares, weighing about 7,941 kg in total, with each car weighing around 2,000 kg.

The vehicles are transported from South Africa to São Paulo, Brazil, en route to Lima, Peru, for the start.

In total, it takes about 16 hours for the shipment to reach its destination with 11 hours spent on the aircraft.

The racing vehicles are designed in line with size restrictions for commercial cargo holds and built in such a way they can be disassembled to the size of a cargo pallet and container to be used.

It takes about three hours to disassemble each car and six hours to reassemble.

SAA Cargo general manager Tleli Makhetha said: “Our partnership remains key to us as the airfreight division of the national carrier. We get the opportunity to showcase SAA Cargo’s operational capability on a world stage.

“There is about two months’ preparation before the vehicles are transported to ensure that the vehicles get there without any hassles.

“Our priority is the needs of the client as without them we do not have a business. All of this is achieved through team effort and hard work.”

“In motor racing, development of the race vehicle is critical,” added Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall.

“Development takes time, and our partnership with SAA Cargo means that we don’t have to rely on sea freight to send our cars to South America. This gives us a significant advantage in our development strategy.”

The 40th edition of the Dakar Rally will start in Lima, Peru, proceed to La Paz, Bolivia, and end in Cordoba, Argentina, on 20 January 2018.

The event takes place over a period of 15 days and 14 racing stages; and the 450 cars, trucks, motorcycles, and quads will cover a total distance of some 9,500 km, of which 5,000 are against the clock.

The race originally took place in Senegal, but in recent years has transferred to South America because of security concerns in the African country.

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