Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel to contest 2021 Rally of Morocco for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and navigator Mathieu Baumel will take part in the upcoming Rally of Morocco, scheduled for 8 to 13 October, 2021. They will be racing in the same car that took them to second place during this year’s Dakar Rally. The car is also the reigning champion of the Moroccan desert since the victory by teammates Giniel de Villiers and Alex Haro in 2019.
Nasser and Mathieu will be aiming to improve their position in the FIA’s World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies. The duo won the prestigious World Cup three consecutive times from 2015 to 2017, taking two victories behind the wheel of a Toyota Hilux. The 2021 World Cup was due to consist of seven rounds, but the Portuguese Rally was cancelled, leaving six rounds for crews to score points. The Toyota Hilux crew drew first blood by winning the Andalucia Rally in Spain earlier in the year. They elected not to compete in rounds two and three, but will now be taking on the competition in Morocco.
After three rounds, Nasser and Mathieu are in second place in the standings, only half a point behind the title leaders, and two points clear of third place. The Rally of Morocco will offer them a chance to improve their position in the championship, as they push towards a fourth title together. Should Nasser and Mathieu be successful in their bid for victory, it will be the second consecutive Toyota Hilux victory at the Rally of Morocco, as teammates Giniel de Villiers and Alex Haro won the previous edition of the race in 2019.
The terrain in Morocco is extremely rugged, with rocky tracks and small dunes making up the bulk of the route. As such, it not only offers crews a chance to score points in the World Cup, but also to prepare for the Dakar Rally, which will take place in January 2022.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing recently completed a comprehensive test session in Namibia, with the primary purpose of developing their new GR DKR Hilux T1+ for Dakar, and the prototype will remain in development in South Africa for the remainder of the year.
The 2021 Rally of Morocco is set to start with a Prologue to determine starting positions on October 8th. This will be followed by five stages totaling 1,633 km of timed racing, with 1,000 km of liaisons bringing the total rally distance to 2,600 km. This year’s race will be based around the town of Zagora, with a single bivouac serving the entire rally. Nasser and Mathieu will be racing in TOYOTA GAZOO Racing colours, with support from Overdrive Racing.
Glyn Hall, Team Principal:
“We are very excited to see Nasser and Mathieu back in action, especially with an eye on the FIA’s World Cup title. The terrain in Morocco also serves as good training for the Dakar Rally, and while we’ll be taking a new car to Saudi in January, Nasser and Mathieu are sure to gain a lot from their experience in the upcoming Rally of Morocco.”
“For me, the Rally of Morocco is always a good one. It is a tough race over really difficult terrain, but it is also a very rewarding race if you manage to deal with its many challenges. Our Hilux has proven itself as a race winner, so we have every reason to hope for a good result.”
“The Rally of Morocco is traditionally a big navigational challenge. This year, many of the tracks will overlap, because of the cloverleaf layout of the route. This will further complicate matters, but even so, we are looking forward to the challenges of Morocco.”