TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will participate with four new Hilux in the 3 Dakar Rally, which will start in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia's port city, on January 2021, 2021. The racing team, which has been competing in Dakar since 2012, will form a team of new names in the rally-raid world together with drivers with high experience in 2021.
Nasser Al-Attiyah / Mathieu Baumel on TOYOTA GAZOO Racing's four new Hilux; Giniel de Villiers / Alex Haro; Henk Lategan / Brett Cummings and Shameer Variawa / Dennis Murphy will feature.
Toyota GAZOO Racing has had significant success since entering the Dakar Rally in 2012 and managed to win the Dakar Rally in 2019. Nasser and Mathieu, who won the Dakar in 2019 and placed second in 2020, will lead the team in 2021. Nasser, who won the Andalusia Rally in 2020, aims to win the third Dakar Rally of his career in 2021. Giniel de Villiers and his co-pilot Alex Haro aim to crown this with new successes following the Moroccan Rally victory in 2019.
Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings, who will join the team in 2021, will also compete with Hilux in the Dakar Rally. Henk Lategan, who won the highly competitive South African Cross-Country Series twice in a row, will join Dakar for the first time. His co-driver, Brett Cummings, has fought twice in the motorcycle category and will add a new Dakar Rally to his career with Henk Lategan.
Shameer Variawa and Dennis Murphy will drive the team's fourth vehicle. Shameer Variawa, who will make his first Dakar Rally with Toyota Gazoo Racing, has achieved significant success in the local championships in South Africa.
Hilux further developed for 2021 Dakar Rally
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will compete with the latest version of Toyota Hilux in the 2021 Dakar Rally. This vehicle was built and developed at the center of the team located near the legendary Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in South Africa.
The vehicle, built on Hilux, which has proven itself in racing, has a mid-engined, independent suspension and four-wheel drive. Continuously developed over the years, the vehicle also proved its robustness once again in Dakar.
For 2021, the vehicle's infrastructure and geometry remained unchanged, while updates were made to the suspensions and atmospheric V8 engine. The exterior design of the 2021 Toyota Hilux race car has been extensively changed to reflect the design of the production version of the new Hilux.
What's new in the 2021 Dakar Rally
The 2021 Dakar Rally will once again be held exclusively in Saudi Arabia, and on January 3, teams will depart from Jeddah.
The 2021 route will pass through a region similar to the 2020 race, but the organizers have prepared a more challenging race with completely new episodes. The 2021 Dakar Rally will be completed where it started on January 15th.
A new digital road book will be used for the 2021 race. This route will be available right at the start of each stage. This new approach was tried in some stages of the 2020 Dakar Rally and will now be used in all stages in 2021. The new format will make the rally easier to follow by race commissioners and officials, while at the same time allowing for more unpredictable challenges.