Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel have skilfully guided their new GR DKR HiLux T1+ to overall victory in the Dakar Rally.
Widely acknowledged as the world’s most gruelling off-road motorsport event, the 2022Dakar Rally has been held in Saudi Arabia over the past few weeks.
The Qatari/French pair led from the start, with their vehicle reportedly performing faultlessly in the harsh conditions to give Al-Attiyah his first win in Saudi Arabia since the Dakar was moved there in 2020, finishing with a winning margin of 27 minutes and 46 seconds.
The winning HiLux was part of a four-car team running under the Toyota Gazoo Racing banner, with the South African pair of Giniel de Villiers and co-driver Dennis Murphy crossing the line in fifth place after a broken oil pipe put paid to their podium aspirations mid-race.
Fellow South Africans Shameer Variawa and co-driver Danie Stassen finished the 4,261km of competitive stages in 15th place and, with a final stage win, Henk Lategan and co-driver Brett Cummings climbed to an overall 31st place.
Toyota Australia Vice President Sales, Marketing and Franchise Operations Sean Hanley said Toyota Australia congratulated all the Toyota Gazoo Racing drivers and co-drivers on a sensational result.
“In just six years, Toyota Gazoo Racing has grown to become a global motorsport powerhouse with victories in the World Rally Championship, the World Endurance Championship and iconic races like Le Mans and Dakar,” said Hanley.
“It’s from this activity that Toyota is building the GR brand and importantly for our customers, GR cars like the GR Yaris and forthcoming GR86 that continue to push the performance envelope,” he said.
The winning GR DKR HiLux T1+ was built specifically for this year’s Dakar and features larger wheels and tyres, dramatically increased wheel travel and the 3.5 litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine that also powers the new Toyota LandCruiser GR Sport in some markets.
On taking his second Dakar win for Toyota Gazoo Racing, Nasser Al-Attiyah said it was such an incredible feeling to win.
“We led right from the start, and managed to control the pace throughout the race, making it an amazing win,” said Al-Attiyah.
“I’d like to thank Toyota Gazoo Racing and all our sponsors for the support. I’d also like to thank our Team Principal and Technical Manager, Glyn Hall, for building this fantastic new HiLux T1+.
“It was an amazing Dakar and I am extremely happy,” he said.