Shameer Variawa buys Hilux Dakar developer Hallspeed – The Checkered Flag

The Toyota Hilux is one of the top vehicles in the Rally Raid, having won the last two Dakar rallies (up a third in 2019), three FIA Cross Country Rally World Cupsand the opening Rally Raid World Championship with Nasser Al-Attiyah. The vehicle was the South African company’s magnum opus reverberation speedFounded and operated by Glyn Hall as Toyota’s Rally Raid factory team under the Toyota Gazoo Racing Banner.

However, as of March 2023, Hallspeed has entered a new era under the leadership of Shameer Variawa who recently bought the company. After a story by Metalworking newsHall remains involved in development and vehicle design.

Variawa is a veteran of the South African Rally Raid Championshipafter winning the 2000 title as well as the Premier TGRSA 1000 desert race three times in a row from 2008 to 2010. From 2019 to 2022 he also took part in the Dakar Rally, most recently with a 15th place overall in a Hilux.

Hallspeed was founded in 1996 by Hall, then General Manager of Nissan Motorsport, to support Nissan’s racing activities before moving to Toyota. The company designed the Hilux for the 2012 Dakar Rally with the 2009 winner Giniel de Villiers as one of its pilots; de Villiers still drives a Hilux today and recently won the 2022 SARRC Championship.

The Hilux’s achievements have made it a very attractive truck for those hoping to compete in the top-level T1 category and sub-category T1+. Sixteen drivers drove a Hilux at the 2023 Dakar Rally and six of the top ten finishers overall were in one. A more rudimentary Hilux T1+, developed from other South African outfits TreasuryONE Motorsport And WCT engineering hoping to make the vehicle more affordable for privateers, it won in its race debut last weekend at the Inland Off Road Championship.

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