Clear runs for all three Toyota Gazoo Racing Hilux crews on Dakar Rally’s penultimate stage

16 January 2023
  • Second on stage for leaders Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel  
  • Lategan and Cummings fifth fastest 
  • De Villiers and Murphy 12th on stage 

The penultimate stage in the 2023 Dakar Rally proved tougher than expected, with a sea of dunes making the 96-mile test near the bivouac at Shaybah a challenging one for all the competitors. Toyota Gazoo Racing’s three GR DKR Hilux T1+ crews recorded solid performances on the day, however, bringing their cars to the finish without incident. This leaves their overall positions unchanged. 

Fastest on Stage 13 for TGR were overall race leaders, Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel, who posted the second-fastest time. They trailed the stage winners to the finish by 5min 28sec, driving at a moderate pace to ensure they could complete the stage without mishap. Their lead in the overall classification is now 1hr 21min 45sec.  

Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings suffered a roll during Stage 12, losing their fourth place in the overall standings as a result. They bounced back today, going fifth-fastest after a cautious start. They are now in 5th place overall, 7min 24sec behind the crew in fourth. 

That crew is their TGR teammates Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy, who were the only GR DKR Hilux T1+ pairing to experience trouble on Stage 13. A front damper malfunctioned shortly after the start, 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 12th on the day, losing 13min 51sec to the stage winners, but holding steady in fourth 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+ has just one more stage to negotiate to record a dream finish.  

The final stage of Dakar 2023 is up on Sunday, taking the competitors from the bivouac at Al-Hofuf to the finish in the coastal city of Dammam. It is another short one, 85 miles long, but unlike the preceding few stages, it is much further to the north so has fewer dunes. Liaisons totalling 175 miles will bring the total for the last day of the rally to 259 miles, taking the total distance for this year’s race to just shy of 5,500 miles. 

Team quotes  
Glyn Hall, TGR Dakar Team Principal: “Today was much tougher than anticipated, but we’re hoping for an easier run to the finish. Be that as it may, we still find ourselves leading the rally with Nasser and Mathieu, which is just amazing. 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 four points towards the World Rally-Raid 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: “We’re quite happy with today’s stage. We didn’t push at all, and our GR Hilux worked extremely well, 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: “This was not an easy stage for us at all. Shortly after the start 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 middle of the stage, the visibility was terrible. As a result, both Dennis and I got motion sickness, making for a miserable drive. 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.”  

For results, times and standings, please visit; for further media assets, please visit


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Clear runs for all three Toyota Gazoo Racing Hilux crews on Dakar Rally’s penultimate stage


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DAKAR 2023 - Stage 13
DAKAR 2023 - Stage 13
DAKAR 2023 - Stage 13
DAKAR 2023 - Stage 13
DAKAR 2023 - Stage 13
DAKAR 2023 - Stage 13
DAKAR 2023 - Stage 13

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