Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel brought their GR DKR Hilux T1+ home safely on the final stage of the 2022 Dakar Rally to win the event by 27min 46sec. This is the Qatari driver’s second Dakar victory for the team, having previously won in 2019. At the same time, Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings won the closing stage of the rally, beating the opposition by 49 seconds.
For Al-Attiyah and Baumel, the final stage was a mere formality, despite challenging navigation. The pair had taken the lead during the opening stage of the event and never appeared in danger of relinquishing that position. They won the event’s prologue on 1 January and powered to two more stage wins on their way to victory.
This win is significant for Al-Attiyah, as he had expressed the hope to win in the Arab world since the Dakar first moved to Saudi Arabia in 2020. He came agonisingly close in both 2020 and 2021, before realising his ambition in Saudi Arabia in 2022. At the same time, the victory means a lot to the team which developed the new GR DKR Hilux T1+: compared to its predecessor, this race car features larger wheels and tyres and more wheel travel. It is powered by a 3.5 litre twin-turbo V6 engine that is also found in the new Toyota Land Cruiser GR Sport. Winning the race with a new car is testament to the team’s ability to continuously push the limits of engineering and build ever-better cars.
The final stage also brought redemption for Lategan and Cummings, who sacrificed their own chances of a stage win when they selflessly waited for their leading teammates to pass them in Stage 11, so they could lend support if needed. But the pair decided to attack on Stage 12, despite starting the timed section well down the order. They brought their Hilux home in 1hr 35min 19sec, besting the competition despite having to stop mid-stage to change a punctured tyre.
For Giniel de Villiers and co-driver Dennis Murphy, the 2022 edition of the world’s toughest cross-country race brought many highs and lows. A broken oil pipe put paid to their podium aspirations mid-race. Despite this, the South Africans soldiered on, winning one stage outright and deservedly attaining a place in the top five. Their time in the closing stage was 5min 30sec behind that posted by Lategan and Cummings, but good enough to secure fifth place in the overall standings.
Dakar 2022 saw Shameer Variawa and co-driver Danie Stassen cement their in-car relationship as they powered through some early-race jitters and bad luck, to record multiple solid stage results. By the time they completed the final stage, mid-way between the cities of Bisha and Jeddah, the pair had moved into 15th place overall. This was Variawa’s second Dakar finish, and a maiden finish for his co-driver.
Dakar 2022 was the 44th edition of the event, which first took place in January 1978. It was held in northern Africa until 2007, then moving to South America in 2009, where it enjoyed a decade of spectacular scenery and tough terrain. In 2020, the first Saudi Arabian edition of the event took place. The 2022 edition covered 2,647 miles of competitive stages.
President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation
To Team Toyota, who took on the challenge of the 2022 Dakar Rally,
Thank you very much for these 14 days over the 8 000 km long journey, which is said to be the toughest in the world. I was relieved to know that you all returned safely.
I am enormously grateful for our cars’ strong performance: the Hilux, Land Cruiser, and Hino.
You maintained the top position in all the 12 stages! It was perfect. Congratulations on this long-awaited victory, repeating your success of 2019!
Congratulations on achieving a podium position with 3rd place overall!
To Sugawara-san of Hino Motors,
It’s unfortunate that your consecutive championships have ceased. You overcame various difficulties and conquered the challenging terrain. I hope you continue to challenge Dakar. Thank you.
To Team Land Cruiser (TLC) Dakar Rally team,
The last year competing with the Land Cruiser 200 concluded with a one-two finish; you have achieved 9 consecutive victories in the commercial vehicle category. Congratulations to Miura-san and all team members!
TLC Land Cruiser was running on TOYO TIRES this year once again. However, this time, those were new tires, developed exclusively for Dakar, replacing the commercially available tires used previously.
When I asked Miura about running with the new tires, he said: “In the past, there were times when the tires would limit our driving speed. However, this year, you can drive fully exploiting the potential of the Land Cruiser. Now we can do it! Thanks to the specially developed tires, the Land Cruiser itself became even more capable.”
A car is an aggregation of many parts. Each part can significantly alter the performance, the feel, and the drive. In races and rallies, many participants build their cars to pursue a single goal, better their vehicles and develop the technologies along the way.
Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Group companies will continue making ever better cars through their motorsports activities. At the beginning of this year, I am more confident in this than ever.
Thank you very much to all the friends who finished the 2022 Dakar Rally. Thanks, guys!
PS: To Mr. Miura
After you have reached the finish line, you’ve texted me: “The first time I got behind the wheel of the Land Cruiser 200, my dream of being a rally driver came true. The Land Cruiser 200 has impressed me so much, it’s a special car and now it’s my life partner.”
I think the Land Cruiser 300 will also become your trusted partner that will make your next dream come true. Thank you for all your outstanding achievements. I look forward to working with you on the Land Cruiser 300. Only 3 more wins until 12 consecutive victories!
Glyn Hall, Team Principal
“What an epic victory for Nasser and Mathieu, and the entire team. To come to Dakar and win with our new GR DKR Hilux T1+ first time out is amazing. I’d like to dedicate this win to the memory of Dr Johan van Zyl, who was a visionary leader and consistent supporter of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Dakar project over many years. We are extremely proud of what we achieved here this year and I know the Doc would have been too.”
“It’s such an amazing feeling to win Dakar! We led right from the beginning, and managed to control the pace throughout the race, making it an amazing win. I’d like to thank Toyota Gazoo Racing and all our sponsors for their support. I’d also like to thank our Team Principal and Technical Manager, Glyn Hall, for building this fantastic new Hilux T1+. It was an amazing Dakar and I am extremely happy.”
Giniel de Villiers
“The last stage was very stressful, with many difficult navigation spots. Stephane (Peterhansel) caught up with us at one point, just as we found the way. Lucky for him, but we had to turn around a few times to find the route. So, there was complicated navigation even on the last stage. In the end, we finished in fifth overall and while I’m a little disappointed not to be on the podium, I am really glad for Nasser and Mathieu. The car was really good, and the team did a great job preparing it. I’m really happy to be here at the end.”
“We’ve really had the full Dakar experience. The highest highs, winning a stage early on, to the lowest of lows, sitting until after dark in the desert. We were a little down last night, after the troubles we had in Stage 11, but this morning we woke up and just decided to give it a go in the last stage. We had to overtake quite a lot of cars and unfortunately, we had a puncture at one point. We thought that was the end of our chances for a second stage win, but we carried on pushing really hard to the end and we pulled off one last success.”
“It’s great to be here, as we had some nerves at the start of the stage. But we made it to the end and I’m happy to complete my second Dakar and Danie’s first. I’m ecstatic, and we’ll be back next year.”
Stage 12 Results:
1. Lategan (ZAF) / Cummings (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing 1hr 35min 19sec
2. Peterhansel (FRA) / Noulanger (FRA) Team Audi Sport +49sec
3. Baragwanath (ZAF) / Cremer (ZAF) Century Racing +1min 51sec
4. Loeb (FRA) / Lurquin (BEL) Bahrain Raid Xtreme +2min 20sec
5. Zala (LTU) / Fiuza (PRT) Teltonika Racing +3min 25sec
12. De Villiers (ZAF) / Murphy (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing +5min 30sec
19. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / Baumel (AND) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing +7min 53sec
31. Variawa (ZAF) / Stassen (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing +11min 50sec
Rankings after Stage 12:
1. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / Baumel (AND) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing 38hr 33min 3sec
2. Loeb (FRA) / Lurquin (BEL) Bahrain Raid Xtreme +27min 46sec
3. Al Rajhi (SAU) / Orr (GBR) Overdrive Toyota +1hr 1min 13sec
4. Terranova (ARG) / Carreras (ESP) Bahrain Raid Xtreme +1hr 27min 23sec
5. De Villiers (ZAF) / Murphy (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing +1hr 41min 48sec
15. Variawa (ZAF) / Stassen (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing +3hr 55min 33sec
31. Lategan (ZAF) / Cummings (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing +11hr 51min 21sec