Victory for Toyota Gazoo Racing at Qatar Baja

28 March 2022

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel recorded victory at the 2022 Qatar International Baja on Saturday (26 March), holding a lead of more than three minutes when the event was brought to an early conclusion due to sandstorms and poor visibility. Sunday’s final leg of the three-day cross-country rally was cancelled, but the GR Dakar Hilux T1+ crew had been able record more valuable data to help in the development of their new car, already winner of this year’s Dakar Rally.

Toyota Gazoo Racing added the Qatar International Baja to their racing calendar following the cancellation of the World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC) round in Kazakhstan. This allowed Al-Attiyah and Baumel to continue the testing programme, while simultaneously affording Al-Attiyah the opportunity to compete on home soil.

The Qatar International Baja is an extremely tough race, where good navigation is critical. This year’s event was scheduled to consist of a short 5.7-mile qualifying stage, followed by two legs, each featuring two timed stages.

Al-Attiyah and Baumel set the fastest time on the qualifying stage, leading their nearest competitors by 4.3 seconds. They increased their lead significantly over the opening 76-mile section of Leg 1 then put in a measured performance on the second section of 77 miles to finish with a consolidated lead of 3min 52.6 seconds.

Fellow-Toyota driver Yazeed Al-Rahji, also in a V6-powered Hilux T1+ secured second place; with Yasir Seaidan sealing third place in a similar vehicle, giving Toyota a lock-out of the podium places.

Team Quotes

Glyn Hall, Team Principal: “While it was disappointing not to complete the final day, we are overjoyed at Nasser and Mathieu’s victory. They did more than enough early on in the race to secure the win, and while we would have loved to notch up more kilometres for testing and development of our Dakar-winning car, we have to respect the organiser’s decision to cancel the final leg in the interests of safety.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah: “Safety always comes first, and the only option available to the organisers was to cancel today’s racing. We were looking forward to a good fight, but I’m very happy with the way our car performed over the last few days, and I’m always happy to win in Qatar. The terrain here is tough, and the navigation is never easy.”

2022 Qatar International Baja – final positions:

1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Mathieu Baumel (AND)                  Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+              2hr 21min 11.5sec

2. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU)/Michael Orr (GBR)                           Toyota Hilux Overdrive                        +3min 53sec

3. Yasir Seaidan (SAU)/Laurent Lichtleuchter (FRA)               Toyota Hilux Overdrive                         +27min 30sec

4. Kris Meeke (AND)/François Cazalet (FRA)                              Can-Am Maverick X3 (T3)           +29min 29sec

5. Ahmed Al-Kuwari (QAT)/Manuel Lucchese (QAT)                    Can-Am Maverick X3 (T3)                        +50min 54sec

6. Khalifa Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Max Delfino (FRA)                   Can-Am Maverick XRS (T4)                     +52min 50sec

7. Sadoon Al-Kuwari (QAT)/Nasser Al-Kuwari (QAT)                   Can-Am Maverick XRS T4)                      +57min 23sec

8. Rashid Al-Muhannadi (QAT)/Szymon Gospodarczyk (POL)      Can-Am Maverick XRS (T3)        +1hr 1min 37sec

9. Yasmeen Koloc (ARE)/Stéphane Duplé (FRA)                         Can-Am Maverick DV21 (T3)                   +1hr 8min 12sec 

10. Adel Abdulla (QAT)/Hugo Magalhães (PRT)              Can-Am Maverick X3 (T3)              +1hr 14min 37sec

ENDS

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Victory for Toyota Gazoo Racing at Qatar Baja

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