It’s all systems go for Toyota Gazoo Racing ahead of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. The team was in high spirits ahead of their departure as they hosted the media at their headquarters at Hallspeed near Kyalami this week.
Gazoo Racing’s has entered four crews into next year’s race. Three-time winner Nasser Al-Attiyah will again line up alongside navigator Mathieu Baumel, 2009 winner Giniel de Villiers who will partner with Alex Haro instead of Dirk von Zitzewitz, South African Cross Country champion Henk Lategan who will make his debut alongside navigator Brett Cummings; and Shameer Variawa and navigator Dennis Murphy.
Team principal Glyn Hall was overseeing the final preparations in the workshop before the cars and tons of equipment are due to be transported by air via the United Arab Emirates. The airfreight is scheduled to arrive in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in time for the crew to re-assemble the cars and get them ready for all the technical checks before arriving at the starting line in Jeddah. The action will commence with an all-important prologue on the 2nd of January that will determine the starting order for the race proper on 3 January.
Since its first Dakar Rally entry, the team recorded best overall results of 3rd (2012), 2nd (2013), 4th (2014), 2nd (2015), 3rd (2016), 5th (2017), 2nd (2018), 1st (2019) and 2nd (2020). One major change to the 2021 race Toyota Hilux is in the exterior design, which now reflects the latest version of the production model.