Köln, Germany,

Extreme highs and lows for TGR on Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Stage 3

  • 1st on Stage 3 for Seth Quintero and Dennis Zenz
  • Seth and Dennis move into overall lead
  • Disaster strikes for Lucas and Armand after stage finish

The third stage of the 2024 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge brought both exceptional highs and lows for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. Seth Quintero and co-driver Dennis Zenz clearly hit their stride, bringing their GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U to the finish of the 252 km timed stage in the first place. This not only gave them their first stage victory in the Ultimate class, but also rocketed them to the top of the overall standings, with two stages to go. Their stage time of 3hr 38min 45sec was 1min 37sec faster than the time posted by Yazeed Al Rajhi and co-driver, Timo Gottschalk, who posted the second-fastest time of the day in their privately entered Toyota Hilux T1U. The stage podium was rounded out by Guerlain Chicherit and Alex Winocq, in a similar car.

While Seth and Dennis could celebrate their first stage win, there was bitter disappointment for Lucas Moraes and co-driver, Armand Monleon. The TGR crew were fastest after 212 km of the stage, and lost their lead just 5 km from the finish after getting stuck. Still, they had provisionally posted the 4th-fastest time on the stage, even after stopping to extricate their car from some soft sand. They managed to get going again relatively quickly, but unfortunately, the sand ladders mounted on the back of the car became loose, and was set alight by the exhaust of the car. The ensuing blaze fully engulfed and destroyed the car, shortly after it crossed the finish line.

The crew were able to escape unharmed, and were quickly assisted by their teammates, Seth and Dennis, who had been waiting for them at the finish. While this is bitterly disappointing for the team and crew, TGR is relieved that nobody was injured in the blaze, and that the camaraderie that has been a hallmark of the team shone through yet again. Their time for the stage was removed from the results, as they were unable to return to the bivouac with the car.

In the overall standings, Seth and Dennis now find themselves at the head of the field, with a lead of 1min 10sec over the second-placed crew. Yazeed and Timo are in third place overall, with Guerlain and Alex in fourth. Three Toyota Hilux occupy positions within the Top 5, and had Lucas and Armand not been unlucky at the end of the stage, they may well have joined their teammates at the top of the standings.

The 2024 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge continues with Stage 4 of the rally taking place on Friday, March 1. The stage will be contested over a timed distance of 232 km, with a liaisons of 51 km and 63 km linking the start and finish of the stage to the bivouac at Mezaira'a. The stage is expected to bring more dunes and sandy tracks, as well as some rocky traverses. The rally will draw to a close on Saturday, March 2, with the fifth and final stage.



Alain Dujardyn, W2RC Team Principal: 

"Today brought the highs and lows that only motorsport can bring. I am proud to be able to congratulate Seth and Dennis with their first ever stage win in the GR DKR Hilux EVO, and we are excited to see them in the lead of the rally. At the same time, it was devastating to see Lucas and Armand forced to retire, after their car caught fire at the end of the stage. As always, the main concern was for the safety of our crew, but they were unharmed in the incident. It was also amazing to see the camaraderie of our crews as Seth and Dennis ran to assist Lucas and Armand at the finish."

Seth Quintero: 

"I didn't expect to get a win this quickly, to be honest. It's been a long time coming and to be so young and even have the opportunity to drive these cars is amazing. Winning the stage is an honour for sure and to finally prove our pace, and prove the whole master plan of the Junior Team working out. But it's hard to celebrate this one. We worked hard, we worked super hard for it all day and drove super hard. But, unfortunately for Lucas it didn't turn out too well and it's hard to be excited for myself."

Lucas Moraes: "

Yeah, it was a great day until it wasn't. We were actually doing a very, very good job in the stage. I was really comfortable in the car, really confident as well. Armand was nailing the navigation. And we were leading, if we check the splits, we were leading a lot. Leading the stage and the rally after Nasser got stuck. But then 5 km to the end, it was my turn to get stuck and we lost 5 to 6 minutes there. And then suddenly, when we finished the stage, the car was already on fire behind us. Unfortunately, the rally is over for us."



1.#211        S. Quintero / D. Zenz(Toyota GAZOO Racing)    03H 38min 45sec
2.#209Y. Al Rajhi / T. Gottschalk(Overdrive Racing)                +01:37
3.#202G. Chicherit / A. Winocq(Overdrive Racing)                +05:18
4.#306C. Gutierrez Herrero / P. Moreno Huete(BBR)+09:05
5.#301R. Baciuska / O. Vidal          CAN-AM Factory Team)+10:14
6.#304A. Jones / O. Mena               CAN-AM Factory Team)+11:41
7.#206N. Al-Attiyah / E. Boulanger                (Nasser Racing by Prodrive) +12:51
8.#212M. Baumgart / K. Cincea(X Rally Team Motorsports)+13:46
9.#205D. Krotov / K. Zhiltsov         (Overdrive Racing)                +15:25
10.#303N. Cavigliasso / V. Pertegarini(Taurus Factory Wevers)+17:51



1.#211S. Quintero / D. Zenz(Toyota GAZOO Racing)10H 44min 01sec
2.#206 N. Al-Attiyah / E. Boulanger(Nasser Racing by Prodrive) +01:10
3.#209Y. Al Rajhi / T. Gottschalk(Overdrive Racing)                +04:56
4.#202G. Chicherit / A. Winocq(Overdrive Racing)                +10:50
5.#304A. Jones / O. Mena(CAN-AM Factory Team)+19:23
6.#301R. Baciuska / O. Vidal(CAN-AM Factory Team)+23:58
7.#208S. Variawa / F. Cazalet(Toyota GAZOO Racing)+44:51
8.#308H. Garces Echieverria / J. Latrach Vinagre (South-Racing-CAN-AM+45:31
9.#400Y. Seaidan / M. Metge(MMP)+46:46
10.#411M. Al Helei / K. Alkendi(RX-Sport)+47:04



Red Bull has established itself as the premiere supporter of extreme sports and athletes, and as such fits perfectly with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing's Dakar and W2RC efforts. The Austrian energy drink manufacturer has partnered with TGR over numerous years, and the involvement bore fruit when the team won a second Dakar title in January 2022, and a third in 2023.

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