Köln, Germany,
02
March
2024
|
21:07
Europe/Amsterdam

Podium finish for TGR's Seth and Dennis at 2024 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

Summary
  • Seth Quintero and Dennis Zenz finish in 3rd place overall
  • 13th on Stage 5 for Seth and Dennis after missed waypoint
  • Two Toyota Hilux in Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Top 3

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing recorded a third-place finish overall at the 2024 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, which served as Round 2 of this year's World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC). Seth Quintero and Dennis Zenz initially completed the 206 km long final stage in a time of 2hr 26min 02sec, just 3min 25 behind the stage winners, but a missed waypoint resulted in a 15min penalty. While this dropped them down to 13th place on the stage, they lost only one position in the overall standings, finishing in third place, 27min 46sec adrift of the leaders.

The GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U crew started the day as the fourth car into the stage, having opened the route on two previous occasions. This gave them a solid attacking position, but they elected to drive at a measured pace to seal their podium position, rather than risk everything in a futile chase for victory. As a result, they had a clean run, bringing their car home without any problems, and scoring valuable points in the W2RC in the process.

At the same time, privateer Yazeed Al Rajhi and co-driver, Timo Gottschalk, recorded the third-fastest time on the stage, giving Toyota two spots on the overall podium - a power performance, which once again underscores the speed and reliability of the GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U.

In terms of the W2RC, Seth has catapulted into 8th overall, after a tough start to his campaign at the Dakar Rally (Round 1 of the championship), which left him in 19th place overall. He is just ten points behind teammate Lucas Moraes, who was forced to withdraw from the 2024 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge after his car caught fire at the end of Stage 3. In terms of the Manufacturer’s Championship, TGR has moved to the top of the standings on 108 points, 31 points clear of the second-placed team.

Next up is the BP Ultimate Rally-Raid, which is set to be contested in Portugal and Spain on April 2-7. This will be Round 3 of the 2024 W2RC, and will be the only race in Europe for the year. With more than 1,000 km of timed stages, and much varied terrain, Round 3 of the season promises to be another tough one. Round 4, the Desafio Ruta 40, will take place in Argentina at the start of June; with the season-ending Rally of Morocco following in October.

 

Alain Dujardyn, W2RC Team Principal: 

"I am very proud of what Seth and Dennis have achieved here in Abu Dhabi. By all accounts, this year's race was extremely tough, resulting in multiple top contenders not completing the race. Despite the toughness of the event, Seth and Dennis showed exemplary maturity, driving a measured race to seal a podium position despite opening two of the five stages. The guys showed their true pace, and took the fight to many of the established crews in the field. As a result of their performance, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing now tops the Manufacturer Championship standings in the W2RC, and we are now looking forward to reuniting the team for Round 3, in Portugal and Spain."

Seth Quintero: 

"It has been a wild ride this week, we opened twice, we won a stage - but here we are, in third place overall. I would like to thank the entire TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team for their work, we had a great car and a great race as a result of their work. While this event wasn't particularly tough for us, we did see some of the other teams struggle, so we are grateful to have completed the rally without any problems. I've done about 6,000 km in the GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U now, and I'm feeling more comfortable with the car with each passing kilometre. Now, I'm looking forward to the next round."

Dennis Zenz: 

" We finished the rally in third place, and we are very happy with the result. We earned good points towards the W2RC, and we are proud of what we've achieved here in Abu Dhabi."

2024 ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE - STAGE 5

1.#206 N. Al-Attiyah / E. Boulanger(Nasser Racing by Prodrive) 02H 22min 37sec
2.#204M. Prokop / V. Chytka         (Orlen Jipocar Team) +03:17
3.#209Y. Al Rajhi / T. Gottschalk  (Overdrive Racing)+04:18
4.#205D. Krotov  / K. Zhiltsov(Overdrive Racing)+06:33
5.#212M. Baumgart / K. Cincea(X Rally Team Motorsports)+07:33
6.#306C. Gutierrez Herrero / P. Moreno Huete(BBR)+12:35
7.#303N. Cavigliasso / V. Pertegarini(Taurus Factory Wevers)+14:05
8.#301R. Baciuska / O. Vidal(CAN-AM Factory Team)+15:31
9.#411M. Al Helei / K. Alkendi(RX-Sport)+16:48
10#213P. Navarro / A. Schulz(X-Raid MINI JCW Team)    +16:48
13.#211S. Quintero / D. Zenz(Toyota GAZOO Racing) +18:25

 

2024 ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE - STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 5

1.#206 N. Al-Attiyah / E. Boulanger(Nasser Racing by Prodrive) 16H 20min 09sec
2.#209Y. Al Rajhi / T. Gottschalk(Overdrive Racing)+16:25
3.#211S. Quintero / D. Zenz          (Toyota GAZOO Racing)    +27:46
4.#304A. Jones / O. Mena(CAN-AM Factory Team)    +50:41
5.#301R. Baciuska / O. Vidal(CAN-AM Factory Team)    +55:19
6.#211M. Baumgart / K. Cincea(X Rally Team Motorsports)                +01:12:30
7.#411M. Al Helei / K. Alkendi(RX-Sport)+01:22:28
8.#400Y. Seaidan / M. Metge(MMP)+01:25:10
9.#213P. Navarro / A. Schulz(X-Raid Mini JCW Team)     +01:27:02
10.#208S. Variawa / F. Cazalet        (Toyota GAZOO Racing)     +01:29:49

 

WORLD RALLY-RAID RESULTS AFTER ADDC - DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP

1.C. SainzTeam Audi Sport76
2.N. Al-AttiyahNasser Racing by Pro Drive67
3.G. ChicheritOverdrive Racing64
4.G. de MeviusOverdrive Racing62
5.Y. Al RajhiOverdrive Racing45
6.L. Moraes Toyota GAZOO Racing45
7.M. ProkopOrlen Jipocar Team36
8.S. QuinteroToyota GAZOO Racing35
9.M. Serradori Century Racing Factory Team32
10.A. JonesCAN-AM Factory Team26

 

WORLD RALLY-RAID RESULTS AFTER ADDC - MANIFACTURERS' CHAMPIONSHIP

1.TOYOTA GAZOO RACING108
2.Nasser Racing by Prodrive77
3.Team Audi Sport76
4.X-Raid MINI JCW Team35

 

Partners

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.

SpeedMax is a CantuStore's private label, which is the largest omnichannel platform and leader in tire replacement market in Brazil. SpeedMax promotes maximum performance through high-performance tires that suit all types of vehicles, from passenger cars to trucks and tractors, as well as inner tubes and truck wheels.