Second consecutive DAKAR victory for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing

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  • 1st overall for Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel
  • 4th overall for Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy
  • 5th overall for Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings
  • 4 Toyota Hilux T1+ in Top 5

Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and his French co-driver, Mathieu Baumel, successfully defended the Dakar title they won for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) in 2022, when they brought their GR DKR Hilux T1+ over the finish line of the final stage of Dakar 2023 on 15 January. The pair lost 5min 41sec to the stage winners, but that hardly mattered, as they sealed the overall victory with a winning margin of 1hr 20min 49sec.

The final stage of Dakar 2023 was a 136km-long test that started from the bivouac at Al-Hofuf. Competitors had to complete a short liaison of 167km before taking on Stage 14, which was then followed by a final liaison of 100km to the finish podium in the coastal city of Dammam.

For Nasser, this was his fifth win in the Dakar Rally, while Mathieu’s tally is now four victories. The pair have 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.

Giniel de Villiers, who completed his twentieth consecutive Dakar Rally when he crossed the finish line near Dammam, ended the rally in 4th place in the overall standings. This result brings his total number of Top 5 finishes to 15, including one victory in 2009. The South African has only finished outside the Top 10 on one occasion, and his performance in the 2023 Dakar Rally underscores the toughness and tenacity of one of the Dakar Rally’s true veteran racers. Together with co-driver Dennis Murphy, Giniel finished this year’s 45th edition of the rally 2hr 31min 12sec in arrears.

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. They moved as high as 2nd place in the overall standings, before two setbacks pushed them down the order. The pair showed great pace throughout the rally, and will be hoping for a truer reflection of their speed in future editions. Even so, they finished in 5th place overall, less than 5min behind their teammates in fourth.

Toyota dominated the Dakar 2023 results, with the works TGR crews finishing 1st, 4th and 5th. A privately entered Toyota Hilux T1+ in the hands of the young Brazilian, Lucas Moraes, added to the Japanese manufacturer’s tally, by finishing in third place overall. This was Lucas’ first attempt at the Dakar Rally, though he had an experienced co-driver in the form of Timo Gottschalk beside him in the car.

In terms of the 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship, of which the Dakar Rally was the opening round, Nasser and Mathieu amassed a total of 85 points. This means they trail the log leaders by just two points after Round 1 of the five-round championship. Toyota is in 2nd place in the Manufacturers’ championship, just a single point behind the leaders. The next race is the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, which takes place during the last week of February.

QUOTES:

Akio Toyoda, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation:
“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.

Congratulations to the all 6 teams on the tough 8500km 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.

On the long, tough roads of Dakar, it is very hard to win if you don’t have a car that’s not only easy to drive, but also reliable and durable.

By continuing to challenge the Dakar, the GR Dakar Hilux T1+ will be refined into an ever-better car. Thank you for training Hilux!

Congratulations to Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body, with their 10th consecutive victory in the car category.

Congrats to Mr. Ronald Basso and Mr. Jean Michel Polato for winning their class!

Mr. Akira Miura and Mr. Laurent Lichtleuchter could not three-peat this time because they had a rollover during the rally and lost significant time. It was a little sad, but thank you for completing the first Dakar in Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport!

I am also grateful for the hard work of all the mechanics who repaired the overturned Land Cruiser in one day. Thanks to all the mechanics too!

Please allow me to share the message that Mr. Akira Miura sent us after the rollover:

“Land cruiser is a car that can go anywhere and come back. This year’s Dakar is really tough and not everything is going smoothly, but it’s precisely because it’s such a tough rally that I want to train our Land Cruiser 300. I think it’s a fitting stage.

There are still difficult stages in the second half of the rally, and since we’ve come this far, we are thinking that we are pretty much ready to face much more hard and difficult stages!

Such a stage is a chance to demonstrate the potential of Land Cruiser 300, in which we believe and trust. In the second half of the race, I would like to concentrate once again on completing the Dakar Rally.”

Mr. Akira Miura, who also serves as the development driver for Land cruiser 300 (mass-produced vehicle), challenged Dakar with this feeling… I sincerely thought that Land cruiser can become an even better car as a result of their dedication.

We at Toyota Motor Corporation will continue to make ever-better cars so that Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto body can drive with even greater peace of mind next year. I hope that all Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body will continue to face the next challenge while thinking, “Next year, bring even more hard and difficult stages!”

Let’s do our best “together” for an 11th and 12th consecutive victory!”

[2023 Dakar Rally: Pictures]

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing
TEAM LAND CRUISER TOYOTA AUTO BODY
TEAM LAND CRUISER TOYOTA AUTO BODY
HINO TEAM SUGAWARA
HINO TEAM SUGAWARA

Glyn Hall, TGR Dakar Team Principal:
“What a day for our entire team! Winning Dakar is something memorable, but winning the world’s toughest race twice in a row is simply extraordinary. My sincere thanks to every member of our team, every one of our sponsors and, of course, our drivers and co-drivers, who delivered a stunning result. I’m really proud of our GR DKR Hilux T1+, which has proven yet again that it is reliable and durable enough to not only complete the world’s roughest automotive race, but to do so two years in a row.”

Alain Dujardyn, TGR W2RC Team Principal:
“I would like to start by thanking all three our race crews wholeheartedly. To Nasser and Mathieu; Giniel and Dennis; and Henk and Brett, my sincere thanks for your relentless efforts from the opening stage. Your dedication to defending our title ensured that the Dakar trophy has come to TOYOTA GAZOO Racing once again. Today’s Dakar Rally victory was a massive step in our W2RC journey. The points for overall victory cannot be underestimated, especially given the fierceness of this championship. As with the Dakar itself, we’re looking to defend our title in the W2RC, and while we leave from Saudi Arabia trailing our nearest competitors by a small margin, we are confident that we will be able to put up a good fight during the remainder of the year.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah:
“This in 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.”

Giniel de Villiers:
“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.”

Henk Lategan:
“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.”

DAKAR 2023: Stage 14 Results:

POS.CREWTEAMTIMEVARIATION
1206(FRA) GUERLAIN CHICHERIT
(FRA) ALEX WINOCQ
GCK MOTORSPORT01H09’24”
2211(SWE) MATTIAS EKSTROM
(SWE) EMIL BERGKVIST
TEAM AUDI SPORT01H11’00”+00H01’36”
3212(ARG) SEBASTIAN HALPERN
(ARG) BERNARDO GRAUE
X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM01H11’17”+00H01’53”
4203(POL) JAKUB PRZYGONSKI
(ESP) ARMAND MONLEON
X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM01H12’32”+00H03’08”
5217(ZAF) HENK LATEGAN
(ZAF) BRETT CUMMINGS
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
01H13’08”+00H03’44”
8200(QAT) NASSER AL-ATTIYAH
(FRA) MATHIEU BAUMEL
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
01H15’05”+00H05’41”
9205(ZAF) GINIEL DE VILLIERS
(ZAF) DENNIS MURPHY
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
01H15’33”+00H06’09”

DAKAR 2023: Final Standings

POS.CREWTEAMTIMEVARIATION
1200(QAT) NASSER AL-ATTIYAH
(FRA) MATHIEU BAUMEL
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
45H03’15”
2201(FRA) SEBASTIEN LOEB
(BEL) FABIAN LURQUIN
BAHRAIN RAID XTREME46H24’04”+01H20’49”
3230(BRA) LUCAS MORAES
(DEU) TIMO GOTTSCHALK
OVERDRIVE RACING46H41’46”+01H38’31”
4205(ZAF) GINIEL DE VILLIERS
(ZAF) DENNIS MURPHY
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
47H34’27”+02H31’12”
5217(ZAF) HENK LATEGAN
(ZAF) BRETT CUMMINGS
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
47H39’38”+02H36’23”

W2RC: Driver Standings after Dakar 2023
1. S. Loeb, Bahrain Raid Extreme – 87
2. N. Al-Attiyah, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing – 85
3. G. Chicherit, Prodrive – 49
4. M. Ekstrom, Team Audi Sport – 37
5. M. Prokop, Orlen Benzina Team – 31

W2RC: Manufacturer Standings after Dakar 2023
1. Bahrain Raid Xtreme – 66
2. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing – 65
3. X-Raid MINI JCW Team – 50
4. BAIC ORV – 40

14 January 2023

Solid performances by all three TGR crews on penultimate stage

  • 2nd on Stage 13 for Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel
  • 4th on Stage 13 for Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings
  • 10th on Stage 13 for Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy

The penultimate stage in the 2023 Dakar Rally proved tougher than expected, with a sea of dunes making the 154km stage near the bivouac at Shaybah a testing one for all the competitors. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s three GR DKR Hilux T1+ crews, however, recorded solid performances on the day, bringing their cars to the finish without incident. This leaves their overall positions unchanged, with just the final stage to go.

Fastest on Stage 13 for TGR was overall race leaders, Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel, who posted the 2nd-fastest time on the day. They trailed the stage winners to the finish by 5min 28sec, driving at a moderate pace in order to ensure that they complete the stage without mishap. Their lead in the overall classification is now 1hr 21min 452sec, with just the final stage to complete.

Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings suffered a roll during Stage 12 of the event, losing their 4th place in the overall standings as a result. They bounced back in Stage 13, going 4th-fastest after a cautious start. Despite the time loss on the previous stage, they maintained a Top 5 position, and now find themselves in 5th place, just 7min 24sec behind the crew in 4th place.

That crew consists of TGR teammates Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy, who were the only GR DKR Hilux T1+ crew to experience trouble on Stage 13. Their left-front damper malfunctioned shortly after starting the stage, forcing them to slow their pace significantly. Poor mid-stage visibility didn’t help their efforts, especially when both crew members experienced motion sickness while crossing the dunes. They were 10th on the day, losing 13min 51sec to the stage winners, but holding steady in 4th place overall.

The young Brazilian sensation, Lucas Moraes, driving in his first Dakar Rally, is still in third place overall. Partnered by experienced co-driver, Timo Gottschalk, the privateer has brought his Toyota Hilux T1+ safely through 13 of this year’s 14 stages, and he has just one more stage to negotiate in order to record a dream finish on his Dakar debut.

The final stage of Dakar 2023 is up next, taking the competitors from the bivouac at Al-Hofuf to the finish in the coastal city of Dammam. At only 136km in length, the closing stage is another short one, but unlike the preceding few stages, this one is such much further to the north, and as such won’t consist of as many dunes as the previous stages. Liaisons totalling 281km will bring the total for the last day of the rally to 417km, taking the total distance for this year’s race to just shy of 9,000km.

QUOTES:

Glyn Hall, TGR Dakar Team Principal:
“With Stage 13 behind us, we have only the final run from Al-Hofuf to Dammam to contend with tomorrow. Today was much tougher than anticipated, but we’re hoping for an easier run to the finish. But be that as it may, we still find ourselves leading the rally with Nasser and Mathieu, which is just amazing for us. But we also have two more crews in the Top 5, and if this remains the case tomorrow, we’ll be simply ecstatic.”

Alain Dujardyn, TGR W2RC Team Principal:
“Nasser and Mathieu’s second place on Stage 13 netted them 4 points towards the World Rally-Rally Championship (W2RC). They are on 35 points for the season thus far, with the leaders on 45 points thanks to multiple consecutive stage victories this week. There are 50 points on offer for Dakar victory, while the second-placed crew is awarded 40 points, so if the positions remain unchanged after the final stage tomorrow, the battle in the W2RC will be tight – making for an exciting season ahead.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah:
“Yes, we’re quite happy with today’s stage. We didn’t push at all, and our GR Hilux worked extremely well today, especially after the small changes we made to the suspension settings after Stage 12. We’ve still got one stage to go, and I hope to bring the Hilux home safely tomorrow.”

Giniel de Villiers:
“Not an easy stage for us at all. Shortly after the stage I felt there was something wrong with the left front damper. It wasn’t working at all, and we had to be extra careful with the many dune crossings in the stage. In the middle of the stage, the visibility was just terrible. As a result, both Dennis and I got motion sickness, making for a miserable stage. But I’m glad we’re here, and now there’s only one stage to go.”

Henk Lategan:
“I don’t think my time was very fast, but it was definitely a safer stage for us. The stage consisted of only dunes, and we took it a bit easier from the start. This was a better approach for us, as I try to build up confidence again after a few difficult days in the desert.”

DAKAR 2023: Stage 13 Results:

POS.CREWTEAMTIMEVARIATION
1201(FRA) SEBASTIEN LOEB
(BEL) FABIAN LURQUIN
BAHRAIN RAID XTREME02H26’17”
2200(QAT) NASSER AL-ATTIYAH
(FRA) MATHIEU BAUMEL
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
02H31’45”+00H05’28”
3211(SWE) MATTIAS EKSTROM
(SWE) EMIL BERGKVIST
TEAM AUDI SPORT02H32’48”+00H06’31”
4217(ZAF) HENK LATEGAN
(ZAF) BRETT CUMMINGS
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
02H35’44”+00H09’27”
5202(SAU) YAZEED AL RAJHI
(DEU) DIRK VON ZITZEWITZ
OVERDRIVE RACING02H37’13”+00H10’56”
10205(ZAF) GINIEL DE VILLIERS
(ZAF) DENNIS MURPHY
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
02H40’08”+00H13’51”

DAKAR 2023: Standings after Stage 13

POS.CREWTEAMTIMEVARIATION
1200(QAT) NASSER AL-ATTIYAH
(FRA) MATHIEU BAUMEL
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
43H48’10”
2201(FRA) SEBASTIEN LOEB
(BEL) FABIAN LURQUIN
BAHRAIN RAID XTREME45H09’52”+01H21’42”
3230(BRA) LUCAS MORAES
(DEU) TIMO GOTTSCHALK
OVERDRIVE RACING45H24’00”+01H35’50”
4205(ZAF) GINIEL DE VILLIERS
(ZAF) DENNIS MURPHY
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
46H18’54”+02H30’44”
5217(ZAF) HENK LATEGAN
(ZAF) BRETT CUMMINGS
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
46H26’30”+02H38’20”

13 January 2023

Nasser/Mathieu steady at the top; disappointment for Henk/Brett

  • Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel increase overall lead to 1hr 27min 10sec
  • Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy cements 4th position
  • Significant time loss for Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings after Stage 12 rollover

While overall race leaders, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel, continued their run of solid stage results, teammates Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings had a rollover in their GR DKR Hilux T1+ early in Stage 12, causing some damage and losing nearly 30min as a result. This allowed Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy to move up into 4th in the overall standings, with just two stages to go.

Stage 12 of the 2023 Dakar Rally brought the competitors back from the Empty Quarter bivouac to the encampment at Shaybah, where the technical crews were waiting to service and repair the team’s three race cars after the two-day Marathon section of this year’s rally. While the stage was only 185km in length, it proved a stern test nonetheless.

For overall race leaders, Nasser and Mathieu, completing Stage 12 was another box ticked in their relentless march to the city of Dammam, and the finish of the rally. The pair took the lead in the race during Stage 3, and have not relinquished that position to date. With only two stages remaining, they have the end in sight, but remain respectful of the shifting desert dunes that mark the final days of the event.

The same dunes caught out teammates Henk and Brett on Stage 12; an early-stage low-speed roll in soft sand, causing damage to the right rear upright and brake disc of their car, and costing them a place in the overall standings. They were eventually classified in 28th place on the stage, relinquishing 48min 35sec to the stage winners, after losing more time due to the rear brakes not working after the incident. This leaves them in 5th overall, 12min behind Giniel and Dennis; and 2hr 34min 21sec adrift of the lead.

While Henk and Brett were bitterly disappointed to lose time so close to the end of the rally, both of them commented on the toughness of the GR DKR Hilux T1+, which not only protected them during the accident, but also completed the stage despite the damage sustained earlier.

Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy, in the #205 car, completed Stage 12 without mishap. The pair went 9th-fastest on the stage, trailing the leaders to the finish by 11min 34sec in the end. With teammates Henk and Brett in trouble, Giniel and Dennis moved up to 4th overall in the rankings, 2hr 22min 21sec behind Nasser and Mathieu.

In terms of the World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC), Nasser and Mathieu will be aiming to defend the title they won in 2022. However, they are not currently in a position to push for stage wins at the Dakar Rally, and as such have been relinquishing points to their nearest competitors. Even so, they are just 9 points behind the leaders after 12 stages of the Dakar Rally, and will be hoping to reap maximum points if they maintain their current position to the finish.

The penultimate stage of Dakar 2023 is up next, and this one is set between the bivouac near Shaybah and the border town of Al-Hofuf to the north. At only 154km in length, Stage 13 may sound short, but the competitors expect another tough test, before a slightly easier day leading to the finish in Dammam on January 15th.

QUOTES:

Glyn Hall, TGR Dakar Team Principal:
“Another solid day for Nasser and Mathieu, who have shown the maturity and restraint of true champions. They brought the car home after the Marathon Stage with barely a mark on it, and very little for the service crews to do. Giniel and Dennis also did what was required, and they’re cemented in fourth place now with two stages to go. Unfortunately, Henk and Brett had a rollover early in the stage, and lost a position in the overall ranking as a result. They are bitterly disappointed, but we still have all three our cars in the Top 5, so we’re very happy at this point.”

Alain Dujardyn, TGR W2RC Team Principal:
“While we are here at the rally to defend our Dakar title from 2022, we also keep a close eye on the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship points. We won the first ever W2RC last year, after quite a close battle. Whilst a potential win at this Dakar is very important to us, it will also amass Championship points, as the Dakar Rally is the first round of the 2023 W2RC. At this point, we cannot expect Nasser and Mathieu to push for stage wins, but leaving from Saudi with another Dakar win, as well as many W2RC points as possible is a major part of our mission for the year ahead. Yet two more stages remain before the final points can be tallied.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah:
“With the Marathon Stage of yesterday and today, the main priority for us was to make sure the car gets back to Shaybah safely. I’m quite happy as it stands, and we remain in control of the race at this point. All that we have to focus on now is to bring the car to the finish, as we still have a comfortable lead. Our Hilux is truly amazing, and we have a lot of pace left in the tank. If we need to push, we can push, but as long as we don’t need to take any risks, we certainly won’t.”

Giniel de Villiers:
“We’re happy to be back, after two tough stages. They weren’t very long, but there were many tricky sandy sections and dunes that could catch you out easily. It was important to get through these two days without problems, and we managed to do that. Now, we have two more days to go, and I fully expect at least one of them to be quite tough as well.”

Henk Lategan:
“We were caught out by a sandy peak, and the car jumped onto its nose and sideways. Then there was a lot of damage to repair, but at least we managed to fix the car and get it through the stage. There were no rear brakes, and it was a bit of a struggle to get it through.”

DAKAR 2023: Stage 12 Results:

POS.CREWTEAMTIMEVARIATION
1201(FRA) SEBASTIEN LOEB
(BEL) FABIAN LURQUIN
BAHRAIN RAID XTREME01H56’21”
2211(SWE) MATTIAS EKSTROM
(SWE) EMIL BERGKVIST
TEAM AUDI SPORT01H59’40”+00H03’19”
3200(QAT) NASSER AL-ATTIYAH
(FRA) MATHIEU BAUMEL
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
01H59’52+00H03’31”
4206(FRA) GUERLAIN CHICHERIT
(FRA) ALEX WINOCQ
GCK MOTORSPORT02H03’34”+00H07’13”
5203(POL) JAKUB PRZYGONSKI
(ESP) ARMAND MONLEON
X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM02H04’23”+00H08’02”
9205(ZAF) GINIEL DE VILLIERS
(ZAF) DENNIS MURPHY
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
02H07’55”+00H11’34”
28217(ZAF) HENK LATEGAN
(ZAF) BRETT CUMMINGS
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
02H44’56”+00H48’35”

DAKAR 2023: Standings after Stage 12

POS.CREWTEAMTIMEVARIATION
1200(QAT) NASSER AL-ATTIYAH
(FRA) MATHIEU BAUMEL
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
41H16’25”
2201(FRA) SEBASTIEN LOEB
(BEL) FABIAN LURQUIN
BAHRAIN RAID XTREME42H43’35”+01H27’10”
3230(BRA) LUCAS MORAES
(DEU) TIMO GOTTSCHALK
OVERDRIVE RACING42H45’36”+01H29’11”
4205(ZAF) GINIEL DE VILLIERS
(ZAF) DENNIS MURPHY
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
43H38’46”+02H22’21”
5217(ZAF) HENK LATEGAN
(ZAF) BRETT CUMMINGS
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
GR DKR Hilux T1+
43H50’46”+02H34’21”