Foton maintains its proud Dakar record
CHINESE vehicle builder Foton this year improved on its performance in the gruelling Dakar Rally at its third attempt, which ended in Rosario on January 16.
This year, the company entered a Tunland pick- up and a Sauvana SUV, which is based on the Tunland. The Sauvana will be arriving in South Africa later this year as an addition to the local Foton range.
Both vehicles were crewed by Chilean teams, with Rodrigo Moreno and Diaz Araya taking 42nd place in the Sauvana and Alvaro Chicharro and Patricio Legarreta taking 51st spot out of the 67 cars which completed the twoweek rally in Argentina and Bolivia.
Taken into consideration that 117 cars started the 2016 edition of the Dakar, just finishing the recent Dakar was an accomplishment in itself.
The second week in this year’s Dakar proved especially tough for competitors, with high temperatures and soft sand taking their toll on man and machine. Getting through the difficult stages in Bolivia, where a lot of competitors had to call it a day, was yet again testimony to the inherent toughness and all- terrain capability of the two Foton vehicles.
Foton was the only Chinese manufacturer to have a 100% finishing record with its two entries in Dakar 2016.
Foton debuted at the Dakar with a Tunland driven by Chicharro at the 2014 event, which was disqualified when its support truck ventured on- to the racing route. Last year, the team fared better, taking 57th and 59th positions with two Tunlands.
Chicharro said on the podium in Rosario at the end of the 2016 rally that Foton is improving its performance year by year. — Supplied.
China’s Foton again managed a proud finish in this year’s Dakar.