South African Airways Cargo (SAA Cargo) is the airfreight partner of the Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Team for the 2017 Dakar Rally, which takes place from January 2 to 14 in three countries in South America namely; Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina.
The race is often billed as the second biggest motorsport event in the world and viewed as the ultimate test of vehicle durability.
The partnership has been in place since 2012 and involves transportation of the racing vehicles to São Paulo, Brazil en route to Argentina. The shipment consists of three vehicles and spares which weigh about 7 941 kgs.
It takes about 16 hours for the shipment to reach its destination with 11 hours spent on the aircraft.
The 39th edition of the Dakar Rally will start in Asuncion, Paraguay; proceed to La Paz, Bolivia; and ends in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Saturday 14 January 2017.
The event takes place over a period of gruelling 13 days and 12 racing stages and the 450 cars, trucks, motorcycles and quads will cover a total distance of some 9 500 kilometres of which 5 000 are against the clock.
Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team will be represented by veteran Giniel de Villiers, Dirk von Zitzewitz and new comers to the team Nasser Al-Attiyah and navigator Mathieu Baumel.
SAA Cargo is a division of South African Airways focusing on airfreight movement worldwide. It uses dedicated cargo aircraft as well as belly space on SAA’s passenger flights for cargo carriage.