Lima, Peru – Blade Hildebrand and Toyo Tires have won the OP.1 Class during Dakar® 2019. A driver in Robby Gordon’s three-car Team SPEED, Hildebrand and navigator Bill Conger finished the 5,000km (3,107 mile), 10-stage rally in a time of 75h 12’ 44” to capture the win. Their #367 King Shocks / Toyo Tires / Textron XX racer competed on off-the-shelf Toyo Open Country M/T tires throughout the rally.
This year’s Dakar ran from January 6 – 17 exclusively in the country of Peru. Seventy-percent of this year’s rally was run in sand dunes with 3,000kms (1,864 miles) of special stages. Both Hildebrand and Cole Potts, driver of the #346 HallmarkTrust.com / Toyo Tires / Textron XX racer are regulars in the Stadium SUPER Trucks™ series.
“We did it! It was a brutal 10 days with our fair share of ups and downs. Team Speed and I completed the Dakar rally in Peru with a win, P1 in the OP.1 Class,” said Blade Hildebrand. “Toyo Tires played a huge part in our success… not a single flat! It was an honor for me to represent Toyo Tires, a name of proven performance.”
Team Toyo’s Robby Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch finished on the podium in third with their #316 SPEED Textron XX/ Toyo Tires racer.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of the Toyo engineers and the products they gave us for the 2019 DAKAR,” said Robby Gordon. “I ran most of the rally on the same tires and it was incredible. To go and compete and finish Dakar Rally and show the tenacity of the team. I want to thank Toyo Tires and the whole Toyo Staff for the opportunity to go back and complete the Dakar Rally and Win the OP.1 class with Blade Hildebrand in the King Shocks / Toyo Tires / Textron XX.”
“We congratulate Blade Hildebrand and his navigator Bill Conger on capturing the number one spot in the OP.1 class of the 2019 Dakar,” said Stan Chen, senior manager events and sponsorships, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. “Congratulations also go to Robby Gordon and Kellon Walch for their third-place finish. The Dakar is a grueling event and competitors are fortunate enough just to finish. Our Open Country M/T tires have once again proven their toughness during this marathon rally.”
To learn more about the Open Country® line of tires for light trucks, SUV’s and outdoor lifestyle vehicles, go to toyotires.com/opencountry.
About Toyo Tires®
Established in 1966, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. represents the innovation, quality, performance, and excellent service that Toyo Tires has delivered worldwide for more than 70 years. The company offers a full line of premium tires for nearly every vehicle including light trucks, SUVs, crossovers, sports cars, luxury cars and hybrids as well as commercial trucks. Many of the tires are built in the United States at their state-of-the-art factory in Georgia. To find the right tire for your vehicle as well as an authorized dealer, visit www.toyotires.com. You can also join the Toyo Tires community on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.