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Cooper Tire, Toyota join forces to sponsor Dakar 2010 race team

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The Dakar is a world class off-road competition, attracting drivers from across the globe to compete in this year’s event throughout Argentina and Chile’s unique terrain. The event, which will take place January 2 – 17, 2010, is broadcast globally on the SPEED Channel, CCTV-China and Eurosport.

The Dakar presents a unique and difficult challenge for drivers, their vehicles and especially their tires. The Cooper Discoverer STT tires paired with a Toyota Land Cruiser KXR (T2 Class) will provide the Toyota Cooper Tires team with a distinct advantage based on their ability to perform in some of the most extreme conditions on earth.

The Discoverer STT is Cooper’s premium high-void, off-road light truck traction tire designed for drivers who want the utmost in off-road traction. It’s offered in a wide range of commercial and large diameter flotation sizes and is designed for use on pickups, SUVs and off-road vehicles. The success and popularity of the STT can be attributed to its testing in conditions similar to what the Dakar will present.

Since its inception in 1978, the Dakar rally stretched from Paris to Dakar, Senegal, but due to political instability in Africa, the 2009 Dakar was run in South America; the first time the race took place outside of Europe and Africa.

Despite its name, the Dakar is an off-road endurance race, called a rally-raid rather than a conventional rally - the terrain the competitors traverse is much tougher and the vehicles used are true off-road vehicles rather than the modified sedans used in rallies. Most of the competitive special sections are off-road, crossing dunes, mud, camel grass, rocks and erg among others. The distances of each stage covered vary from short distances up to 500-560 miles (800–900 kilometers) per day.

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