Toyota SA has announced its Gazoo Racing team for Dakar 2018.
Leading the team will be Toyota stalwart and former Dakar winner Giniel de Villiers, once again partnered with German navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz. The pairing has attained four podium finishes for Toyota.
They will be joined by Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and French navigator Mathieu Baumel.
The pair also raced with Toyota Gazoo SA at Dakar 2017, winning the opening stage before retiring on stage three. Al-Attiyah and Baumel won their fourth FIA Cross-Country World Cup this year – their third in a Toyota Hilux.
The third crew in the line-up will be Dutch driver Bernard ten Brinke, partnered by multiple Dakar winning French navigator, Michel Périn. No stranger to the Dakar Rally, Ten Brinke has taken part since 2012.
He raced a Toyota Hilux as part of the Overdrive Racing team in 2016, but 2018 will be his first outing as a full works driver.
The three crews will all be driving the all-new Toyota Hilux, which features a mid-engine layout and a fresh suspension geometry.
The new car conforms to the latest rules as set out by the FIA, and will race with a 38 mm air restrictor in Dakar 2018.
Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall said. “The Dakar Rally is undeniably the world’s toughest race. “The terrain, temperatures, altitude and navigation all play major roles. “We are looking forward to continuing our quest for glory this coming January.”