But team solves overheating scare

There was drama for Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz' Red Bull Gazoo Racing Toyota at the team's pre-Dakar test in Asunçion, Paraguay on the eve of the big race this afternoon, when the number 302 bakkie ran very high engine temperatures during the final shakedown at Toyota's private 4km test track here which was graded before the rally.   

"The car ran hot," Toyota Dakar boss Glyn Hall confirmed in a press conference this evening. "We changed radiators, water pumps, everything and could not solve the problem. Eventually we found that some aluminium shavings had come through into the manifold and blocked a bleed pipe.

"It was a very stressful morning - it could have been catastrophic."  The problem has been solved and the team is now ready for the start tomorrow.

In a separate development, de Villiers revealed that Carlos Sainz had already complained that 2017's Balance of Performance is not fair and that the restrictor sizes favour the Toyotas. "According to Carlos this Peugeot hasn't changed much from last year but is more reliable," de Villiers conceded. 

Further team revelations confirmed that the de Villiers car will run air conditioning, while Al Attiyah will do without that comfort, although both cars will run at the minimum weight specified for the Hilux. "Nasser just doesn't want the temptation of switching it on." Glyn Hall confirmed.


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