The grueling 2019 Dakar Rally has just concluded, and Toyota Gazoo Racing has conquered it. With Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel, Toyota has clinched their first Dakar rally overall title after coming close to winning it last year.
“Nasser and I drove the winning Hilux in Spain in late 2017. At that time, the team presented me with the second-place trophy from a past event, promising me that next time they would secure the first-place trophy. I am thrilled that they were able to fulfill that promise!” said Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation.
Toyota is taking pride at the fact that they are the first to win the South American-era Dakar in a gas-powered vehicle. Yes, the Hilux they used isn't using the typical diesel motor. Instead, they shoved in a hefty V8 engine which was more than capable of surviving, and eventually winning, the Dakar Rally.
Besides the Hilux, Toyota also had a good run in the production class with Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body (TLC) with Christian Ravier and Jean-Pierre Garsan as driver and navigator, respectively, as they emerged victorious for the sixth straight year.
In the truck category (10-liter engine or smaller), Hino Team Sugawara finished in first place once again, capturing their tenth consecutive victory in the grueling event. The Hino Ranger was driven by Teruhito Sugawara and navigated by Katsumi Hamura.
As for Nasser Al-Attiyah, the Qatari driver now has a total of three Dakar titles under his belt and his first with Toyota. Hopefully he can add another title both for himself and Toyota at next year's Dakar Rally.