Toyota Gazoo Racing sharpens its weapons


The Toyota Gazoo Racing will enter four drivers at the wheel of its new DKR Hilux T1 + at Dakar 2022. We make the presentations.

As in 2021, the team of Japanese manufacturer will be led by Nasser Al-Attiyah and his navigator Mathieu Baumel. Giniel de Villiers will be associated with Dennis Murphy, Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings will be back for their second Dakar, and Shameer Variawa will now be associated with Danie Stassen. New Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1 +, in accordance with the new regulations of the category T1, is currently in the testing phase (see photos) for presentation later in the year.

Since their second place in January 2021, Al-Attiyah and Baumel, winners in 2019, won the Andalusia rally as well as Baja Spain Aragon. The duo, who have won the FIA ​​Rally Raid World Cup three times in a row, will look to add a fourth victory to the Dakar 2022. From Villiers and Murphy, both from South Africa, successfully participated in the South African Cross-Country Series (SACCS) they lead after three of the seven rounds.

Forced to abandon following an accident in the fifth stage of the previous Dakar, Lategan and Cummings will be keen to show their pace and compete against more experienced crews. Variawa and Stassen, also fromSouth Africa, complete the quartet. It will be their first participation side by side.

A new weapon on wheels

For 2022, Gazoo racing has developed a new version of the Toyota Hilux Dakar, the GR DKR Hilux T1+. In addition to taking components proven with previous Hilux, it will present a host ofimprovements, notably tires from 32 to 37 inches with a width of tread also evolving from 245 mm to 320 mm. The car also has a greater suspension deflectionn, the previous limit of 280 mm being now increased to 350 mm.

Under the hood, we find an engine 3.5-liter twin-turbo gasoline V6, as used in the new GR-S variant of the Toyota Land Cruiser 300. In the standard version, the motor produces 305 kW of power at 5200 rpm and 650 Nm of torque from 2000 rpm. In racing configuration, these figures are significantly higher.

the Dakar 2022 kicks off Jan. 2 in the northern Saudi Arabian city of Ha’il before heading south. The rest day will take place in the capital city of Riyadh on January 8, before the race heads southwest to end at Jeddah on January 14.

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