Jan 06, 2017: South African Airways Cargo (SAA Cargo) is once again 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 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 kilograms. It takes about 16 hours for the shipment to reach its destination with 11 hours spent on the aircraft.
“Our association with such a huge international motor sport event provides us with an opportunity to showcase SAA Cargo’s capability and our country. Before the vehicles are transported, there is a lot of preparatory work done to ensure smooth transportation,” said Tleli Makhetha, SAA Cargo’s general manager.
The 39th edition of the Dakar Rally will start in Asuncion, Paraguay; proceed to La Paz, Bolivia; and ends in Buenos Aires, Argentina on January 14, 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.
“The team has over the years continued to impress by achieving podium finish at all races. We have no doubt that they will do us proud in their endeavour to achieve great results,” said Makhetha.
The racing vehicles are designed in line with size restrictions for commercial cargo holds and thus built in such a way they can be disassembled to the size of the pallet and container to be used. It takes about three hours to disassemble each car and six hours to reassemble. Each car weighs approximately 2, 000 kilograms.