Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Defending champion and three-time winner Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah on Thursday started the testing of his Toyota Hilux for the Dakar Rally in the outskirts of Jeddah.
Al Attiyah and his French co-driver Matthieu Baumel are among the favourites for the 42nd edition of the rally in Saudi Arabia, the first time the gruelling event will be held in the Middle East and Asia.
The organisers allowed all participants to conduct shakedown over two days.
At the end of the shakedown, Al Attiyah expressed satisfaction with the progress made by Toyota Gazoo Racing team in South Africa and the new modifications to the car that will enter the challenge with the aim of defending the title he won in Peru last January.
He stressed that he was fully prepared to achieve his fourth title in the most difficult rally in the world.
Dakar Rally will start on January 5 in Jeddah and conclude on January 17 in Qiddiyah after more than 7,900km distance being contested over 12 stages on sand and dunes of Saudi Arabia.