Toyota Gazoo Racing has announced a four-car team, along with an all-new Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+ for Dakar 2022. Set to take place in Saudi Arabia from the 2nd of January 2022, the upcoming Dakar Rally will be seeing a four-crew team from Toyota Gazoo Racing. The works team will be Spear-headed by Nasser Al-Attiyah and navigator Mathieu Baumel as in 2021, with Giniel de Villiers and navigator Dennis Murphy partnering up, too. Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings will return for their second Dakar Rally and Shameer Variawa will now be partnered with navigator Danie Stassen.
An all-new Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+ prototype is currently under testing, featuring temporary raw carbon fibre finish. The official reveal will take place later in 2021, with the vehicle now conforming to updated regulations for the T1 category. This is the vehicle that the team will be fielding in the 2022 iteration of the legendary rally event. Their strategy is to build on experience gained in 2021, with a mix of experienced drivers and up-and-coming talent forming their four-car team.
It is worth noting that since their 2nd place finish at the 2021 Dakar Rally, Nasser and Mathieu have won both the Andalucía Rally and the Baja Spain Aragon. Together, the pair have won the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies three-times in a row, and they aim to add a fourth Dakar Rally to their list of achievements in 2022.
Sharing components with the race-proven Hilux that was first introduced in 2018, the Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+ features larger running gear with 37-inch tyres, up from 32-inches, along with a tread increase from 245 mm to 320 mm. The previous suspension travel limit of 280 mm has been increased to 350 mm.
The Land Cruiser 300’s 3,5 litre twin-turbo petrol V6 motor features under the bonnet, with outputs unconfirmed, although it has been noted that they are significantly higher than the stock mill’s 305 kW and 650 N.m.
The Dakar 2022 will take place entirely in the Saudi Arabian desert, following a clockwise route this time and commencing on the 2nd of January in Ha’il, before heading southward to the Empty Quarter. The race is set to end in the city of Jeddah on January 14th.
“I am very happy to be back with the Toyota Gazoo Racing team for Dakar 2022. We won the race together in 2019, and now we have a new bullet coming. I am excited for our prospects, especially with the new GR DKR Hilux T1+, which is definitely faster and more capable than the previous car,” said Nasser Al-Attiyah, winner of the 2019 Dakar Rally.