New Hilux strengthens Toyota Gazoo Racing for 2024 Dakar and World Rally-Raid Championship 

13 December 2023

Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) will compete with an updated version of its Dakar-winning Hilux, the new GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U. Its name reflects both upgrades to the vehicle and the new World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC) categorisation. 

The team field its largest entry yet in the 2024 Dakar, with five crews, including two rookie drivers. The line-up also includes the unparalleled experience of Giniel de Villiers and the proven pace of Lucas Moraes and Seth Quintero. 

The team have also confirmed that Moraes and Quintero, with their co-drivers, will contest the 2024 FIA W2RC series. 

2024 W2RC programme 

Dakar will be the first round of the 2024 W2RC and thus a critical event for the TGR’s confirmed crews, Lucas Moraes/Armand Monleon and Seth Quintero/Dennis Zenz. 

The championship will comprise four further rounds: – 

  • Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, 25 February to 2 March 
  • BP Ultimate Rally-Raid, Portugal, 2 to 7 April 
  • Desafio Ruta 40, Argentina, 2 to 8 June 
  • Rally of Morocco, 5 to 11 October 

While these crews will be fighting for victory in W2RC, TGR’s three South African drivers will be taking on the South African Rally Raid Championship (SARRC). This series will also serve as the main testing programme for development of the GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U. 

2024 team line-up 

Lucas Moraes was the revelation of the 2023 Dakar, running in second place for most of the event in a privately entered Hilux and eventually finishing third overall, making him one of the most successful rookies in the event’s history. This year, the young Brazilian will be paired with Armand Monleon from Spain. Monleon initially competed in the Dakar on a motorcycle before switching first to an SSV (side-by-side) and now to the top flight of rally-raid racing. 

Seth Quintero is one of the biggest talents in the pool of emerging drivers. His pace and a depth of experience that belies his youth make him one of the hottest properties in the world of rally-road. He will be partnered by German co-driver Dennis Zenz in their fourth Dakar together. 

These youthful crews will be looking to draw on the experience offered to the team by Giniel de Villiers, the Dakar 2009 winner. He has an unparalleled record in the event, having completed it 20 times. He has finished in the top 10 19 times and achieved eight podium results. He will again be partnered by South African Dennis Murphy, with whom he won the SARRC title in 2022. 

They will be joined by young racing sensation Saood Variawa and his co-driver Francois Cazalet. Variawa competes for Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa in the Global Touring Car championship and drives a Toyota Hilux T1+ as a member of the SARRC squad. At 18 years old, he is one of the youngest works drivers yet to race in the Dakar and will be making his debut in the event in 2024. He follows in the footsteps of his father, Shameer Viarawa, who contested two Dakar rallies with the team. 

Completing the line-up are Guy Botterill and co-driver Brett Cummings. Cummings is a familiar face in the team, co-driving for Henk Letigan; Letigan has been sidelined from the event due to a shoulder injury. Botterill is entering is first Dakar Rally and hoping that Cummings’s experience will stand him in good stead. He has an impressive record in South African rallying and moved to the rally-raid discipline full-time in 2023. He finished runner-up in this year’s SARRC, narrowly missing out on taking the championship title. 

New GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U 

The new Hilux is 100mm wider than its predecessor and benefits from several refinements. The suspension has been adjusted and the air conditioning unit has been relocated to improve efficiency. A new cooling package has also been fitted. 

The car has been in constant development throughout the past year, including almost 30,000km of racing and testing during the 2023 W2RC and SARRC series. Further tests took place in the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa and considerable mileage was added in the Namib Desert during final preparations for the 2024 Dakar and W2RC. 

Biofuel and sustainability 

The have been integrating their sustainability plans with any on the Dakar Future project. The TGR Dakar team have partnered with Repsol to meet the required targets ahead of the 2026 deadline. 

Repsol supplies TGR with fuels with 70 per cent renewable content, using advanced biofuels with a carbon footprint reduced by at least 70 per cent compared to conventional gasoline. These fuels have been designed and produced at the Repsol Technology Laboratory in Madrid from waste material such as used cooking oil. They have been produced in installations certified under the ISCC EU sustainability scheme, and the raw materials as well as the production processes comply with the sustainability requirements under in the European Renewable Energy Directive. 

TGR have been a research and development partner to Repsol during the last 18 months, first bench-testing and then extensively field testing the Repsol Renewable Fuel 70R+ in various locations. The blend was formulated exclusively for TGR, in accordance with the FIA’s regulations. 

Dakar 2024 

Dakar 2025 will start on 5 January with a short prologue near the northern Saudi Arabian city of Alula. Six stages will follow, including a new 48 Chrono stage – essentially an extended marathon stage. This will be followed by a rest day in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, on 13 January. Six further stages will take the rally back towards the north of the country before the event concludes in the coastal city of Yanbu on 19 January. 

Team quotes 

Alain Dujardyn, TGR W2RC Team Principal: “To have achieved everything we did in 2023 is an amazing feeling. We won the Dakar Rally, as well as the W2RC titles for a second successive year, thanks to our highly durable and reliable GR DKR Hilux T1+, as well as the skills and dedication of Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel. Now, we stand at the start of a new chapter, with our GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U, which promises to raise the bar yet again. More than that, we are fortunate to have one of the most competitive driver line-ups in the bivouac. We are excited about the future and look forward to 2024 as our new crews grow into their roles as TGR works drivers. At the same time, we are counting on the experience of Giniel and Dennis, as well as all our technical staff, to guide and nurture our new talents.” 

Andrea Carlucci, Vice President, Product Strategy and Marketing, Toyota Motor Europe: “We are excited to start the 2024 W2RC with our largest team ever at Dakar, and I’m looking forward to following Seth and Dennis, and Lucas and Armand on their journey with the new GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U. 

Glenn Crompton, Vice-President, Marketing: Toyota South Africa Motors: “The Dakar Rally has a reputation as the toughest automotive rally on the planet, and as such it is the perfect place for us to prove the quality, durability and reliability of our Toyota Hilux. We’ve been working hard to make our GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U even better than its predecessor, and I look forward to seeing the new car in action early in January. ” 

Lucas Moraes: “Dakar 2023 was an amazing experience for me. Finishing on the podium at my first attempt was simply amazing. More importantly, it gives me confidence that I am capable of sustaining the necessary pace over the entirety of the rally. At the same time, I have learnt a lot from my various racing activities this year, and I’m looking forward to expanding on this as part of TGR’s W2RC squad for 2024.” 

Seth Quintero: “Stepping up from SSVs to the fastest rally-raid cars in the world is very exciting for me. I’ve basically come through the ranks, and 2024 will be my first chance to compete with all the biggest names in the sport. The new version of the GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U has impressed me, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to take the fight to the competition from the get-go.” 

Giniel de Villiers: “The Dakar Rally is undoubtedly the highlight of the year. One of the things that make it so exciting for me, is the fact that I’m closely involved with the development of each new version of the Hilux, and to see it all come together at the rally is very satisfying. I remain as competitive as ever and will be aiming for a solid performance come January. I know the car is good, the team are good, and I am inspired to give Dakar 2024 my best shot.” 

Saood Variawa: “I’m so excited about taking on the Dakar Rally for the first time. I’ve been learning a lot about rally-raid racing this year, and constantly finding ways to improve, especially in the dunes. My experience with the new GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U has been limited but very positive. The car is simply superb, and I can’t wait to go racing.” 

Guy Botterill: “Taking part in my first Dakar Rally is a life-long dream that has come true. I’m a fairly new rally-raid convert, having come from the world of rallying. Even so, I feel confident with the car as I’ve been racing it all year in the SARRC. Now, it is time to step up to the biggest rally of them all, and I’m excited to have Brett beside me in the car. His experience will be invaluable.” 

GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U technical specifications 

Engine V35A production engine 
Donor vehicle Toyota Land Cruiser 300 
Engine type Petrol, twin-turbo 
Control regulation Boost limited by FIA reference power curve 
Max. power (bhp/DIN hp/kW @ rpm) 354/358/264 @ 5,300 
Max. torque (Nm) 620 
Engine management Motec 
Transmission Sadev 6-speed, sequential shift 
Differentials Limited-slip (front, centre and rear) 
Clutch Ceramic twin plate, 215mm 
Construction Tubular frame 
Wheelbase (mm) 3,140 
Track (mm) 2,025 
Overall length (mm) 4,810 
Overall width (mm) 2,300 
Overall height (mm) 1,890 
Body Toyota Hilux double Cab pick-up, full composite 
Suspension – front Double wishbone, 350mm travel 
Suspension – rear Double wishbone, 350mm travel 
Wheels 17in Evo Course 
Tyres 37in BF Goodrich 
Fuel tank FT3 safety cell 
Fuel tank capacity (l) 540 

Toyota major rally-raid achievements in 2023 

Dakar Rally TGR 1st overall (Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel) 
TLC 10th consecutive victory in the production car category 
(Ronald Basso/Jean-Michel Polato) 
HINO Team Sugarawa 10th overall in the truck category 
(Teruhito Sugawara/Hirokazu Somemiya/Yuji Mochizuki) 
FIA World Rally Raid Championship 
TGR 1st overall 
(Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel) 

2024 TGR team set-up 

Toyota Gazoo Racing 206 Lucas Moraes  (Brazil) Armand Monleon  (Spain) 
209 Giniel de Villiers  (South Africa) Dennis Murphy  (South Africa) 
216 Seth Quintero  (United States) Dennis Zenz  (Germany) 
226 Saood Variawa  (South Africa) Francois Cazalet (France) 
243 Guy Botterill  (South Africa) Brett Cummings  (South Africa) 

2024 Dakar Rally – Team Land Cruiser/Toyota Auto Body (TLC) set-up 

Team Land Cruiser/Toyota Auto Body (TLC) 500 Akira Miura  (Japan) Mayeul Barbet (France) 
501 Ronald Basso  (France) Jean-Michel Polato (France) 

* Toyota Auto Body employee 

2024 Dakar Rally – HINO Team Sugarawa set-up 

HINO Team Sugawara 609 Teruhito Sugawara (Japan) Hirokazu Somemiya (Japan) Yuji Mochizuki  (Japan) 

Team partners 

Red Bull has established itself as the premiere supporter of extreme sports and athletes, and as such fits perfectly with Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Dakar and W2RC efforts. The Austrian energy drink manufacturer has partnered with TGR over numerous years, and the involvement bore fruit when the team won a second Dakar title in January 2022, and a third in 2023. 

SpeedMax is a CantuStore’s private label, which is the largest omnichannel platform and leader in the tyre replacement market in Brazil. SpeedMax promotes maximum performance through high-performance tyres that suit all types of vehicles, from passenger cars to trucks and tractors, as well as inner tubes and truck wheels. 

The team is also supported by Innovation Group Services, Toyota Financial Services, Toyota Genuine Motor Oil, Eurol, Repsol Renewable Fuels, BF Goodrich, Sparco, Maxion Wheels and Kinto. SVR is supported by Jonsson Workwear, USN and Ingco. 


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New Hilux strengthens Toyota Gazoo Racing for 2024 Dakar and World Rally-Raid Championship 


Images are copyright free for editorial purposes only

TGR DKR24-3755
TGR DKR24-3345
TGR DKR24-3921
TGR DKR24-4029
TGR DKR24-3989
TGR DKR24-4137
TGR DKR24-Lucas Moraes
TGR DKR24-Francois Cazalet
TGR DKR24-Francois Cazalet
TGR DKR24-Dennis Zenz
TGR DKR24-Dennis Zenz
TGR DKR24-Dennis Murphy
TGR DKR24-Dennis Murphy
TGR DKR24-Brett Cummings
TGR DKR24-Brett Cummings
TGR DKR24-Armand Monleon
TGR DKR24-Armand Monleon
TGR DKR24-Seth Quintero
TGR DKR24-Seth Quintero
TGR DKR24-Giniel de Villiers
TGR DKR24-Giniel de Villiers
TGR DKR24-Saood Variawa
TGR DKR24-Saood Variawa
TGR DKR24-Guy Botterill
TGR DKR24-Guy Botterill

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