Dakar 2021: Toyota Gazoo Racing SA announces driver line-up


• Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa announced its driver line-up for the 2021 Dakar Rally. 

• The works team will field four cars, spearheaded by Nasser Al-Attiyah and navigator Mathieu Baumel.

• There are three South African drivers: former winner Giniel de Villiers, rookie Henk Lategan and Shameer Variawa. 

Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa will field a four-car strong works team for the 2021 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. 

The works team will consist of Nasser Al-Attiyah and navigator Mathieu Baumel; Giniel de Villiers and navigator Alex Haro; rookie Henk Lategan and navigator Brett Cummings; and Shameer Variawa and navigator Dennis Murphy.

Lategan and Cummings are fresh from winning the 2020 South African Cross Country Series. 

Toyota Gazoo Racing - Dakar 2021.
Toyota Gazoo Racing - Dakar 2021.

"I am so happy to be back at the Dakar, driving the Toyota Hilux again. We won with that car in 2019, and finished second in 2020. Now it is time to go back to Saudi and challenge for victory again," Nasser Al-Attiyah said.

SA-built Hilux

The team will compete in the latest version of the Hilux, built and developed at the team's HQ near the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in Johannesburg.

The current car is based on the race-proven Hilux that was introduced in 2018, and features a mid-mounted engine, independent rear suspension and all-wheel drive.

One major change to the 2021 race Hilux is in the exterior design, which now reflects the latest version of the production bakkie. 

"Racing in the Dakar has been a dream for me. Even after winning two championships in South Africa, taking on the world’s toughest race is a daunting prospect, Lategan says.

The former rally driver say he will lean on his navigator's experience. "I'm just glad I have Brett with me, who has competed twice at the Dakar already. Having competed in local cross-country rallies in South Africa, I’m very familiar with the Hilux, which helps a lot, too," Lategan concluded. 

Toyota Gazoo Racing - Dakar 2021.
Toyota Gazoo Racing - Dakar 2021.

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