TOYOTA GAZOO Racing wins inaugural World Rally-Raid Championship

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TOYOTA GAZOO Racing wins inaugural World Rally-Raid Championship

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing sealed the inaugural World Rally-Raid Championship in mid-October when Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel brought the team’s Dakar-winning GR DKR Hilux T1+ home in second place overall at Andalusia Rally. This was the final round of a season that started with the TGR crew taking victory at the Dakar Rally in January 2022, and culminating with the team winning the driver’, navigator’, and manufacturer titles in the first ever W2RC.

The inaugural W2RC featured four tough rounds, on three different continents. The total timed mileage for all rounds combined came to nearly 8,000 km, thoroughly testing both man and machine across terrain the included rocky tracks, mud, sand, and endless dunes. Throughout this, TGR continued to push the limits for better, constantly finding ways to refine the Dakar-winning GR DKR Hilux T1+.

“Toyota has a proud history in motorsport, having raced in a large variety of disciplines over the last six decades. The challenges of W2RC have given us unique insights into the toughest conditions imaginable, allowing us to build ever-better cars for people who prefer to take the road less travelled. Winning the inaugural championship demonstrated that we are on the right track, and we are proud that our GR DKR Hilux T1+ was tough enough for the task at hand,” said Matt Harrison, President of Toyota Motor Europe.

“I’d like to extend my gratitude to both Nasser and Mathieu, as well as every member of the TGR W2RC racing team. My heartfelt thanks for the personal contributions in Pushing the Limits for Better, throughout the development of the GR DKR Hilux at every test and every rally. Despite facing many challenges and dealing with setbacks, your dedication ensured that TOYOTA GAZOO Racing ultimately became the first-ever World Rally-Raid Champion.”

The inaugural W2RC season comprised the following rounds:

Round 1 – Dakar Rally: 1-14 January, 2022

Nasser and Mathieu got their W2RC campaign off to a stunning start, when they won three stages of the Dakar Rally, and recorded five more podium finishes for a total of 35 stage points, and 50 points for their overall victory in the world’s toughest automotive event.

Round 2 – Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: 5-10 March, 2022

Next up was the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, where the crew suffered a hard landing that damaged the wishbone on their Hilux to the point where they were forced to retire from the opening stage, incurring a massive 20 hour-penalty as a result. This meant that victory was out of reach, but the crew fought back bravely, winning each of the remaining stages of the event to secure 20 stage points and 6 points for their 11th-place finish.

Round 3 – Rally of Morocco: 1-6 October, 2022

The Rally of Morocco was punctuated by multiple punctures that put paid to the crew’s hopes for victory here. As in Abu Dhabi, Nasser and Mathieu continued to push despite the setbacks, resulting in 13 stage points and 20 points for their third position overall. By this point of the season, the TGR crew had overtaken their nearest rivals, who held a slender lead in the W2RC standings early on.

Round 4 – Andalusia Rally: 18-23 October, 2022

The Andalusia Rally played host to the final round of the season, and this time it was the weather that came into play. Even so, Nasser and Mathieu managed to bring their Hilux home in first place on the final stage, sealing second place in the overall standings, and securing enough points to claim the inaugural W2RC title.

This capped a remarkable season where the GR DKR Hilux T1+ suffered only a single mechanical failure – and that after an extremely hard and unlucky landing during the opening stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Beyond that, it was only punctures that hampered the progress of the mighty Hilux.

The team is now turning its attention to the upcoming Dakar Rally, by conducting a final shakedown test early December in Namibia, and a team announcement following in due course. At present, the engineers are applying all the learnings from this season’s W2RC stages, together with the data captured during the South African Rally-Raid Championship, where the car is also tested and developed, in order to prepare the best possible challenger for the 2023 Dakar Rally.

The inaugural W2RC season comprised the following rounds:

Round 1 – Dakar Rally: 1-14 January, 2022

Nasser and Mathieu got their W2RC campaign off to a stunning start, when they won three stages of the Dakar Rally, and recorded five more podium finishes for a total of 35 stage points, and 50 points for their overall victory in the world’s toughest automotive event.

Round 2 – Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: 5-10 March, 2022

Next up was the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, where the crew suffered a hard landing that damaged the wishbone on their Hilux to the point where they were forced to retire from the opening stage, incurring a massive 20 hour-penalty as a result. This meant that victory was out of reach, but the crew fought back bravely, winning each of the remaining stages of the event to secure 20 stage points and 6 points for their 11th-place finish.

Round 3 – Rally of Morocco: 1-6 October, 2022

The Rally of Morocco was punctuated by multiple punctures that put paid to the crew’s hopes for victory here. As in Abu Dhabi, Nasser and Mathieu continued to push despite the setbacks, resulting in 13 stage points and 20 points for their third position overall. By this point of the season, the TGR crew had overtaken their nearest rivals, who held a slender lead in the W2RC standings early on.

Round 4 – Andalusia Rally: 18-23 October, 2022

The Andalusia Rally played host to the final round of the season, and this time it was the weather that came into play. Even so, Nasser and Mathieu managed to bring their Hilux home in first place on the final stage, sealing second place in the overall standings, and securing enough points to claim the inaugural W2RC title.

This capped a remarkable season where the GR DKR Hilux T1+ suffered only a single mechanical failure – and that after an extremely hard and unlucky landing during the opening stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Beyond that, it was only punctures that hampered the progress of the mighty Hilux.

The team is now turning its attention to the upcoming Dakar Rally, by conducting a final shakedown test early December in Namibia, and a team announcement following in due course. At present, the engineers are applying all the learnings from this season’s W2RC stages, together with the data captured during the South African Rally-Raid Championship, where the car is also tested and developed, in order to prepare the best possible challenger for the 2023 Dakar Rally.

Glyn Hall, Team Principal: “Looking back over the inaugural W2RC season, there are many highlights for the team. But to me, it was the fighting spirit of Nasser and Mathieu, who continued to push for maximum points, even when victory was out of their reach, that really stood out. This serves to underscore our can-do attitude, as well as the toughness of our Dakar-winning GR DKR Hilux T1+. I’m really proud of our achievements this year, and I’m looking forward to Dakar 2023.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah: “To me, winning the first ever W2RC is a special achievement. After years of competing in the FIA’s World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, it is fantastic to finally have our own championship. And to be able to be crowned as the winner of the first edition is something that I will cherish for ever.”

Mathieu Baumel: “We’ve certainly faced some challenges this year, but in the end, we prevailed to take the title. I’m extremely proud of what we did this year, starting with our victory at the Dakar Rally in January. Now, months later, we’ve come full circle – the title is in the bag, and we’re already preparing for the next Dakar.”

W2RC 2022 FINAL STANDINGS:

DRIVER:

1.       N. AL-ATTIYAH (QAT)                       TOYOTA GAZOO RACING             GR DKR Hilux          169

2.      S. LOEB (FRA)                                     BAHRAIN RAID XTREME                 Hunter                     149

3.      Y. AL RAJHI (SAU)                               OVERDRIVE RACING                      Hilux                        121

4.      J. PRZYGONSKI (POL)                       X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM                MINI                          77

5.      F. LOPEZ CONTARDO (CHL)            SOUTH RACING CAN-AM             CAN-AM                   71

CO-DRIVER:

1.       M. Baumel (FRA)                         TOYOTA GAZOO RACING        GR DKR Hilux      169

2.      F. Lurquin (BEL)                            BAHRAIN RAID XTREME           Hunter                  149

3.      D. Von Zitzewitz (DEU)                OVERDRIVE RACING                Hilux                     70

4.      T. GOTTSCHALK (DEU)                X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM          MINI                       58

5.      A. HARO BRAVO (ESP)                BAHRAID RAID XTREME           HUNTER                53

MANUFACTURER:

1.       TOYOTA GAZOO RACING                      GR DKR Hilux T1+                                  163

2.      BAHRAIN RAID XTREME                          Hunter                                                     135

3.      OT3 BY G RALLY TEAM                             OT3                                                          102

4.      X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM                          MINI                                                          92

5.      PH-SPORT                                                 PEUGEOT                                                  58

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