Toyota Gazoo Racing bags 2nd Dakar victory

toyota gr dakar rally

Toyota’s racing division — Toyota Gazoo Racing — took home its second Dakar Rally win after six of the Japanese factory racing team drivers (three driver pairings) secured positions in the rally’s top five overall.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Which driver pairing secured first place overall?

    Per Toyota, the driver pairing of Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel won first place overall.
  • What vehicle from Toyota won the 2023 Dakar Rally?

    The winning Toyota vehicle that dominated the 2023 Dakar Rally was the Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+.
  • Further, Toyota finished second in the Manufacturers’ championship, just a single point behind the leaders.

    toyota gr dakar rally 1

    “Three GR DKR Hilux T1+ of Toyota Gazoo Racing, two from Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body, and Hino Team Sugawara’s Hino 600 all completed the 16-day Dakar Rally,” said Toyota Motor Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Akio Toyoda.

    “Congratulations to all six teams on the tough 8500-kilometer (km) road! Thank you to all the fans for your support! Congratulations to Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel on winning the overall title for the second year in a row! This following their victory in the first-ever World Rally-Raid Championship late in 2022, which was itself an amazing achievement,” added “Morizo” himself.

    To note, Nasser Al-Attiyah and his co-driver Mathieu Baumel won the Dakar Rally for Toyota Gazoo Racing last year.

    toyota gr dakar rally 2

    For Al-Attiyah his 2023 Dakar Rally win is his fifth victory in the rally raid. Meanwhile, Mathieu’s tally in the Dakar Rally is now four victories.

    The pair has won three times for Toyota, with the latest victories coming in a back-to-back display of quality, durability, and reliability for the Japanese manufacturer. The pair took over the lead of the event on Stage 3, and never relinquished that position to win first overall.

    “This is an amazing feeling! I have to thank so many people, starting with every member of our team. It was a tough two weeks, but to be able to come back and defend our title is fantastic! I’m really proud of our GR DKR Hilux T1+, and to win the race three times with Toyota Gazoo Racing is truly something special,” Al-Attiyah commented.

    toyota gr dakar rally 3

    Giniel de Villiers and co-driver Dennis Murphy, on the other hand, finished fourth overall.

    The South African rally driver now has a total of 20 Dakar Rally races. This year, de Villiers brought his Dakar Top 5 finishes to 15. With his experience as a rally race veteran, and with the help of co-driver Dennis Murphy, finished this year’s 45th edition of the rally two hours, 31 minutes, and 12 seconds in arrears.

    “The Dakar is always full of challenges, and we certainly had our share of challenges this year. Of course, it could’ve been better for us, but then many competitors can probably say the same. It would have been nice to be on the podium, but overall, as a manufacturer, Toyota has every reason to be proud. I think this result has just proven the reliability of the Hilux once again, and we again managed to showcase this amazing car in Saudi Arabia this year,” de Villiers stated.

    toyota gr dakar rally 4

    Dakar 2023 will long be remembered by Henk Lategan and co-driver Brett Cummings as a race that could have turned out very differently for them. The pair moved as high as second place in the overall standings before two setbacks pushed them down the order.

    Even so, they finished in fifth place overall, less than five minutes behind their teammates in fourth.

    “Dakar 2023 has been a rollercoaster for us. It has been a tough two weeks for us, with some extremely good days; but also some disappointing ones. It does feel good to be in the Top 5 after such a tough Dakar, and I think they’ve thrown everything at us this year. With that in mind, it feels fantastic to be at the end of the race, and while we’ll always wonder what might have been, we are very happy to bring the car home in a good position,” said Lategan.

    Photos from Toyota 

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