Toyota Gazoo Racing forge ahead with third Dakar Rally stage win for Al-Attiyah and Baumel

9 January 2023
  • Al-Attiyah and Baumel extend their overall lead to more than one hour  
  • Lategan and Cummings third on stage, de Villiers and Murphy lose time 

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel increased their overall lead in the 2023 Dakar Rally to more than an hour on Friday, winning the sixth stage of the gruelling race despite starting as first car on the road. The Qatari driver and his French co-driver are now 1hr 6min 50sec clear of their nearest rivals – their teammates Henk Lategan and co-driver Brett Cummings. 

Stage 6 was a turning point in the race with two of the top four crews crashing heavily, one of them  having to withdraw due to injury to a co-driver. Toyota Hilux privateer Yazeed Al Rajhi and his co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz also lost significant time with a mechanical problem. 

Al-Attiyah and Baumel made the most of the opportunity to strengthen their advantage in the GR DKR Hilux T1+. Their total time on the shortened stage was 3hr 13min 12sec, 3min 29sec clear of the next car, and 8min 52sec ahead of Lategan and Cummings in third place. Both TGR Hilux crews reported largely clean runs with their vehicles performing extremely well in the rough conditions. The only exception was a power steering issue for Al Attiyah around seven miles from the finish. In true rallying camaraderie, Lategan and Al Rajhi both stopped briefly to help with a spare part. 

Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy endured a challenging run, losing 36min 41sec over the 222-mile test, although they ran much higher up the order in the early stages.  They lost time with a broken rear damper and later damaged a front differential when landing a jump in the dunes. They were forced to switch to two-wheel drive, only for a power steering problem to add to their woes 25 miles from the finish. Nonetheless, they managed to complete the day’s timed section and safely reached the new bivouac at Riyadh, 185 miles on from the end of the stage. 

Four Toyota Hilux now feature in the top four placings, with Lucas Moraes and co-driver Timo Gottschalk in third place in their privately entered Toyota Hilux T1+ and de Villiers and Murphy in fourth. This is Brazilian youngster Moraes’s first Dakar Rally and he has shown impressive pace and maturity. 

Dakar 2023’s route has been changed significantly due to adverse weather conditions and flooding near Al Duwadimi. The caravan has skipped ahead to the Saudi capital of Riyadh, where it will remain until after the rest day on Monday. The competitors, however, will take on a modified Stage 7 next, which will see them cover a liaison of 179 miles back towards Al Duwadimi, before covering a stage of 207 miles. A liaison of 150 miles will bring them to a makeshift service park, where a two-hour service will be allowed, before parking the cars in a parc ferme at Al Dawadimi in preparation for Stage 8.  

The race still has eight tough stages to go, with the modified versions of Stages 7 and 8 to come before the rest day. The second week will see the action move into the southern part of Saudi Arabia and the so-called Empty Quarter, before swinging back towards the north, for the finish in Dammam on 15 January.  

Team quotes  
Glyn Hall, TGR Dakar Team Principal: “Nasser and Mathieu did a sterling job to win from first on the road; and Henk and Brett drove beautifully to go third-fastest on the stage. But more importantly, Nasser’s lead is now more than an hour, with Henk in second place. Giniel and Dennis are in fourth place overall, so TGR are well-placed at this point in the race.” 

Nasser Al-Attiyah: “Today was a big day for most of us on the Dakar. I’m happy to have finished it without any problems, except for our power steering near the end. We heard a lot of things about some of the other competitors today, but so it goes on the Dakar. For us, we must just remain focussed on our own race. Our aim remains to bring all three of our cars home on the podium.” 

Giniel de Villiers: “This was a crazy, crazy day, one of those that really tests your character, but despite all the challenges we faced, we managed to get the car to the finish, and eventually back to the bivouac. I’m happy to still be here, and still be in fourth place overall.” 

Henk Lategan: “This was another tricky stage. Maybe not quite as hard on the body as the previous ones, but it was still very easy to make big mistakes. There were some very high-speed sections in the dunes, with big drops – very dangerous places. I’m glad to have reached the end of that stage, and now we have four Toyotas in the Top 5, which really shows how reliable the car is. It is seriously hard on the cars out there, but the GR DKR Hilux T1+ just takes it in its stride.” 

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


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Toyota Gazoo Racing forge ahead with third Dakar Rally stage win for Al-Attiyah and Baumel


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DAKAR - Stage 6
DAKAR - Stage 6
DAKAR - Stage 6
DAKAR - Stage 6
DAKAR - Stage 6
DAKAR - Stage 6
DAKAR - Stage 6
DAKAR - Stage 6
DAKAR - Stage 6
DAKAR - Stage 6

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