Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) are pleased to confirm two all-new crews will compete in the 2024 Dakar Rally, prior to confirmation of the full team later this month.
Both new crews will be piloting upgraded versions of the GR DKR Hilux T1+ which secured Dakar wins in 2022 and 2023.
Lucas Moraes and Armand Monleón
The first new crew sees Lucas Moraes paired with former bike racer Armand Monleón as co-driver.
Moraes has proven himself as one of the fastest young drivers in the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC) and took third place in his first Dakar drive last year. As a member of the TGR factory team he will have another opportunity to pursue his dream of winning one of the world’s toughest motorsports events.
The Brazilian has tasted victory in the past, winning the Rally dos Sertoes twice, the Brazilian National Championship three times and the South American Mitsubishi Cup twice.
Seth Quintero and Dennis Zenz
American Seth Quintero is the second new driver. Quintero, from San Marcos, California, started racing light prototypes aged 10 and won his first championship before being legally old enough to drive on public roads. He quickly made a name for himself in the WR2C by winning 12 stages in the 2022 Dakar Rally in the light prototype class.
Quintero will be partnered by Dennis Zenz. The pair were recently crowned W2RC champions in Class T3, cementing their status as up-and-coming world rally-raid stars.
Updated GR DKR Hilux T1+
In looking to the future with its new driver line-up, TGR has also continued development of its Dakar-winning GR DKR Hilux T1+. Details of the updated specifications will be shared in due course, but the latest evolution of the car will confirm to the latest FIA technical requirements. In addition, Toyota’s aim of building ever-better cars through motorsport has led to a number of refinements to components and moves to secure a sustainable future.
Dakar Rally 2024 preparations
As part of the team’s preparations for the Dakar Rally, Quintero and Zenz with be taking part in next week’s Dubai International Baja (10-13 November). This will give the pair competitive mileage behind the wheel of the updated GR DKR Hilux T1+. A similar opportunity will see Moraes and Monleón compete at the Baja Qassim in Saudi Arabia, between 23-25 November.
The Dakar Rally will again serve as the opening round of the World Rally Raid Championship (W2RC). The 12-stage marathon event will start on 5 January 2024 in the northern Saudi city of Alula. From there, the route will wind its way through the spectacular sands of Saudi Arabia, before doubling back for the finish at the coastal city of Yanbu.
Andrea Carlucci, Vice President, Toyota Motor Europe, said: “Looking back over our W2RC and Dakar journeys, which started with our commitment to enter the inaugural W2RC season, I can’t help but be extremely proud. We started with a two-year commitment with a single entry, and could never have imagined the results we attained. Thanks to our GR DKR Hilux T1+, which proved highly reliable and robust; together with the skill and experience of Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel, we achieved a perfect set of results over the first two seasons of the W2RC: Manufacturer’s, Driver’s and Co-Driver’s titles in both seasons. Now, we are in a position to confirm TGR’s continued commitment to the FIA’s W2RC, starting with the Dakar Rally 2024. We are also working towards the goals as set out by the Dakar Future 2026 project. Furthermore, we will be stepping up our engagement by adding two new crews to the team.”