Toyota wants to compete with X-raid in Saudi Arabia / Dakar Auto

Toyota wants to compete with X-raid in Saudi Arabia / Dakar Auto

The Toyota Gazoo Racing Team feels strong enough this year to be able to stand up to the X-raid squad at the 43rd and second Saudi Arabian edition of the Dakar Rally.

The Toyota Gazoo team worked year-round in difficult circumstances on the development of the new Hilux under the health and safety protocols imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. In a late decision, the team decided to take part in the doubleheader of the Baja Ha’il, the final round of the FIA ​​#World Championship for cross-country bajas, with Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel for an unconventional shakedown of the new Hilux.

Al-Attiyah showed his determination to win the first lap after a tough battle with Carlos Sainz which resulted in very close races. Al-Attiyah narrowly missed the second lap victory due to a post-race penalty. In the World Cup he shares second place in the table with his fellow brand colleague Bernhard Ten Brinke, who are tied on points, just 2.5 points behind the title winner Vladimir Vaisilyev.

Although the new Hilux only contested two international rallies before the 2021 Dakar Rally, it has already proven its speed and reliability. The latest evolution of the Dakar proven Hilux is an evolution of the car that won the 2019 Dakar Rally with improvements to many parts of the car. The chassis has been extensively redesigned, while a new exhaust system has improved the low torque of the Lexus RC-F’s naturally aspirated V8.

New tire pressure monitoring system

Due to the daily battle against tire deflation during the 2020 Dakar Rally, Toyota Gazoo Racing has partnered with Toyota Motor Corporation and Gazoo Racing Company to customize a new tire pressure monitoring system for the Hilux on the recently launched GR Yaris. This is an uncommon role reversal, with road vehicle technology being carried back to rally cars, but then likely to be tested to the limit in the heat of competition. The TGR Dakar team also worked with partners at Motul to adjust the electronics and programming and ensure that the new surveillance system worked well with the Hilux.

In the 2021 Dakar Rally, Toyota Racing will field four cars with a mix of seasoned and relatively newcomers to the sport. The team will again be led by 2019 winners Al-Attiyah and Baumel, while Giniel de Villiers and navigator Alex Haro are sure to be a tough challenge for the title. New to the team are the double South African cross-country champion Henk Lategan and his navigator Brett Cummings. The latter finished second in the Malle Moto test category for motorcycles in 2014 and is looking forward to returning to the rally. The team also includes the former South African champion Shameer Variawa, who will contest his second Dakar Rally. He will have the multiple South African navigation champion Dennis Murphy next to him in the car.

Glyn Hall, Team Principal: “The 2021 edition of the Dakar Rally is more than just another race. In the turmoil of 2020 and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, at times the rally seemed like it would never take place. Nevertheless, despite the lack of international rallies, we continued to work on the development of our Hilux in order to take on the challenge. Now we are very proud to be here and we are confident that our car is ready to fight for the title for Toyota Gazoo Racing again. The recent comments from our main competitor, Carlos Sainz, have been very encouraging. He rated our Hilux as tough competition, and we will continue to push ourselves and our Hilux to the limit in order to have a good fight. “

Nasser Al-Attiyah: “I know that the team faced many challenges in developing and preparing the cars for the Dakar 2021. Even getting here was difficult. But we saw in Ha’il that the Hilux is very fast and as reliable as ever. I’m looking forward to the race and will do my best to win back the title for Toyota Gazoo Racing. “

Giniel de Villiers: “Saudi Arabia has proven to be a worthy host country for the Dakar in 2020, and it quickly became clear that it would not be easy to win here. We worked hard to prepare our car for the race ahead, taking into account the lessons we learned here last time. I am confident that we have a great car and I will push for a good result for Toyota Gazoo Racing. ”

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