• Toyota Gazoo Racing revealed their 2022 challenger for the Dakar Rally.
• The current V8 engine is replaced by a turbocharged V6 unit.
• The outgoing bakkie won the Dakar in 2019.
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The 2022 Dakar Rally is just a few months away, but Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) is rearing to go. For the next instalment of the world's most gruelling endurance race, the team will field an entirely new racecar that meets the new regulations.
TGR will also be entering a four-crew team for the race in Saudi Arabia, taking place from 2 January 2022. Leading the crews is Nasser Al-Attiyah and navigator Mathieu Baumel. The duo won the Dakar in 2019 and came home in second place in 2021. The event did not take place in 2020 due to Covid-19.
The other driver/navigator pairings are: Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy, Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings, and Shameer Variawa and Danie Stassen. Building on the experience from Dakar 2021, the team will continue to field a mix of experienced specialists, such as Al-Attiyah and De Villiers, while cementing Lategan as an up-and-coming force in the sport. Shameer will be aiming to improve on his 21st position at the previous race.
The new challenger
For 2022, the TGR is developing a new version of the Toyota Dakar Hilux, based on the latest rules. The new Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+ will share components with the race-proven Hilux that was first introduced in 2018, and won the Dakar in 2019, but will feature a host of improvements. These include bigger running gear - tyres of 37-inches, up from 32-inches, together with a tread increase from 245mm to 320mm.
The new bakkie also has more suspension travel, with the previous limit of 280mm now increased to 350mm.
The 3.5-litre twin-turbo powered petrol V6 engine, sourced from the all-new Toyota Land Cruiser 300, will now power the 2022 racecar. In standard form, the engine produces 305kW of power at 5 200rpm and 650Nm of torque from 2 000rpm. However, in race trim, those numbers are significantly higher.
Glyn Hall, Team Principal: "We are very pleased to announce a team that is very similar to last year. With Nasser and Giniel heading up our attack and Henk gaining confidence, we are excited to take on the 2022 edition of the Dakar Rally. Our new GR DKR Hilux T1+ is progressing well, and we are confident that the new car will allow us to compete on a new level come January."
Nasser Al-Attiyah: "I am very happy to be back with the TGR team for Dakar 2022. We won the race together in 2019, and now we have a new bullet coming. I am excited about our prospects, especially with the new GR DKR Hilux T1+, which is definitely faster and more capable than the previous car."
Giniel de Villiers: "The Dakar is one of the toughest races on the planet, but it suits our new Hilux perfectly. The new wheels, suspension travel and especially the move to the turbo-powered petrol engine from the Land Cruiser is sure to make a big difference to our campaign. The engine is highly responsive and allows us to push the new car to the limit. Saudi has proven to be a worthy host for the race, and we expect that this will again be the case in 2022."