Third place for Nasser and Mathieu in Morocco
- Third overall for Nasser and Mathieu
- Fifth on final stage for the TGR crew
- W2RC lead increased to 22 points
The 2022 Rally of Morocco drew to a close in the Moroccan city of Agadir, after five extremely tough stages totalling 1,506 km. The final stage, from Tan Tan to Agadir, comprised 185 km of small dunes and rocky tracks, with a closing section along the Moroccan coast. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel completed the final stage in the 5th-fastest time, finishing in 3rd place in the overall standings.
The pair started the final stage as the third car on the road, aiming to use their road position to attack. However, they lost some time early in the stage due to a navigational stumble, before setting off in pursuit of the crews ahead of them. They managed to close the gap considerably, finishing just 1min 55sec behind the eventual stage winners.
This year’s Rally of Morocco has proven a stern challenge, but were it not for bad luck with four punctures on Stage 2, the TGR crew may have well brought their GR DKR Hilux T1+ home higher up the order. In the end, they were forced to shift their focus away from an outright victory, aiming instead to score as many stage points towards their W2RC campaign as possible.
The TGR pairing started the event a single point behind the W2RC leader, but by virtue of 13 points gained by stage results, and another 20 points awarded for third place overall, they managed to take the lead in the championship, and now hold a 22-point advantage over their nearest rivals.
While punctures played a role in the outcome of the race, the team reported no technical issues with the Dakar-winning GR DKR Hilux T1+, and they feel confident that they are making progress towards the defence of their Dakar crown, come January 2023.
In the meantime, however, there is still one race to go in the inaugural W2RC. The Rally of Andalusia is scheduled to take place in less than two weeks’ time, and will serve as the deciding round in the W2RC. With four stages plus a prologue, the Rally of Andalusia is slightly shorter than the Rally of Marocco, but will play a pivotal role in the championship nonetheless. The 2022 W2RC started with Dakar Rally in January, where Nasser and Mathieu recorded victory. This was followed by the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, where the TGR crew finished in 6th place, before finishing on the podium at the Rally of Morocco.
Glyn Hall, Team Principal:
“Were it not for a stumble early in today’s stage, I’m certain Nasser and Mathieu would have won it. Despite this, they finished fifth on a relatively short, sharp stage. More importantly, they now have a healthy lead going into the final W2RC race of the season, and we look forward to the showdown that’s coming later this month in Spain.”
“The Rally of Morocco can be a tough one, and this year proved again that just one day of bad luck can put paid to your chances for victory. In the end, we are happy to finish third, and it helps our W2RC situation a great deal. Now, we just have to focus on the final race of the season.”
“The points we gained by finishing 5th today are welcome, of course, but we are very pleased to finish on the podium, especially in terms of our W2RC hopes.”
STAGE 5 RESULTS:
1. S. Loeb (FRA) / F. Lurquin (BEL) Bahrain Raid Extreme Hunter 1:31:46
2. G. Chicherit (FRA) / A. Winoq (FRA) GCK Motorsport Hunter +1min 8sec
3. E. van Loon (NLD) / S. Delaunay (FRA) Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux +1min 41sec
4. Y. Al Rajhi (SAU) / D. Von Zitzewitz (DEU) Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux +1min 51sec
5. N. Al-Attiya (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing TGR DKR Hilux T1+ +1min 55sec
1. G. Chicherit (FRA) / A. Winoq (FRA) GCK Motorsport Hunter 14:47:29
2. O. Terranova (ARG) / A. Haro Bravo (ESP) Bahrain Raid Extreme Hunter +10min 55sec
3. N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing TGR DKR Hilux T1+ +29min 24sec
4. Y. Al Rajhi (SAU) / D. Von Zitzewitz (DEU) Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux +41min 31sec
5. M. Prokop (CZE) / V. Chytka (CZE) Benzina Orlen Team Ford Raptor +1hr 0min 37sec
W2RC STANDINGS AFTER RALLY OF MOROCCO:
1. 1. N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing TGR DKR Hilux T1+ 144 points
2. S. Loeb (FRA) Bahrain Raid Xtreme Hunter 122 points
3. Y. Al Rajhi (SAU) Overdrive Racing Toyota 100 points
4. J. Przygonski (POL) X-Raid MINI JCW Team MINI 77 points
5. F. Lopez Contardo (CHL) South Racing Can-Am Can-Am 50 points