Toyota has announced that it is going to appeal to the FIA – International Automobile Federation claiming that its Hilux 4×4 cannot compete with X-raid’s Mini John Cooper Works Buggy due to different air exhaust rules at the ongoing Dakar Rally 2020.
Team Toyota is currently trailing by seven minutes at the halfway point of the desert motorsport rally being held in Saudi Arabia despite winning the last year’s title with a handsome margin.
X-raid’s drivers Carlos Sainz Sr and Stephane Peterhansel, have won four stages in recent Dakar rally with Toyota’s Giniel de Villiers and Nasser Al-Attiyah only managing to win once.
Toyota boss Glyn Hall has said that the lag is due to recent FIA regulations that restricted air exhaust diameter of 4x4s to 37mm while allowing X-raid to keep it at 38mm.
Hall said that the recently introduced regulations unfairly target his vehicles and could mean a difference of up to 40 minutes by the end of the rally.
X-raid Mini’s boss Sven dismissed the claims of having any advantage over Toyota an attributed the time lead to his drivers and called the competition ‘super balanced’.
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