TOYOTA GAZOO Racing poised for W2RC Challenge in Abu Dhabi
- Nasser and Mathieu confirmed for Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
- TGR pair hold slender lead after Round 1
- Dakar-winning GR DKR Hilux T1+ back in action
Fresh from their victory in the gruelling Dakar Rally earlier this year, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel will be facing their next challenge for the team: Round 2 of the five-round 2022 World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC), the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. This five-day race will see the TGR crew back in their Dakar-winning GR DKR Hilux T1+ for the first time since winning the opening round in Saudi Arabia during January 2022.
Nasser and Mathieu go into Round 2 of the 2022 W2RC with a single point in hand, having amassed a total of 85 points during the Dakar Rally. This consists of 50 points for the win, plus 35 points earned through stage results during the race. As such, they have Dakar runner-up, Sebastien Loeb (BRX) on 84 points, the Frenchman having earned 40 points for his second place in the rally, with a further 44 points coming from stage results. Yazeed Al Rajhi, also in a Toyota Hilux, is in third place in the rankings, 34 points behind the leader.
This is the inaugural year for the W2RC, following 28 editions of the FIA’s World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, which Nasser won five times – three times for Toyota. Mathieu Baumel is a four-time winner of the World Cup.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s participation in the W2RC reiterates the manufacturer’s commitment to motorsport, with teams competing in the W2RC, World Rally Championship (WRC) as well as the World Endurance Championship (WEC). Toyota uses everything they gain from the world’s roads and tracks to build “ever-better” cars, and has been forging people and cars by competing in a series of demanding races in a variety of categories. Few categories of motorsport offer as many demands as rally-raid racing, and Toyota’s participation in this discipline allows the company to build cars that excite drivers each time they get into the vehicle and inspire a thirst for driving more.
The 2022 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge will feature a ceremonial start on March 5th, at the famous Yas Marina Circuit. This will be followed by five days of tough racing through the Liwa Desert, before the event draws to a close on Thursday, March 10th, back at the Yas Marina Circuit. Nasser and Mathieu dominated this event last year, winning by more than 20min, and the TGR crew will be seeking for a repeat performance in 2022.
Glyn Hall, Team Principal:
“We are excited to continue our journey with the GR DKR Hilux T1+, which proved unbeatable in the hands of Nasser and Mathieu at this year’s Dakar Rally. The next round of the W2RC is critical for the championship, given the small margin we hold at the top of the standings. But more than that, it also offers crucial test mileage, which will play an important role in the continued development of the Dakar-winning car.”
“Abu Dhabi is always a tough race, but we’ve historically done well there. The new GR DKR Hilux T1+ has been highly reliable so far, and we are looking forward to see how it performs during Round 2 of the W2RC.”
“We started the first ever World Rally-Raid Championship on a high note, winning the Dakar Rally. But we’ve seen that stage wins are just as important as overall victory, so we’ll be pushing hard throughout the race in order to maximise our points in the title race.”
W2RC Standings After Round 1 (Drivers):
1. Al-Attiyah 85pts
2. Loeb 84pts
3. Al Rahji 51pts
4. Przygonski 36pts
5. Serradori 33pts
6. Alvarez 25pts
7. Ten Brinke 21pts
8. Halpern 19pts
9. Roma 18pts
10. Vasilyev 14pts
W2RC Standings After Round 1 (Manufacturers):
1. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing 80pts
2. X-Raid MINI JCW Team 45pts
3. Bahrain Raid Xtreme 45pts
4. MD Rallye Sport Optimus 25pts
5. Red Bull Off-Road JR Team 16pts
6. PH Sport 14pts
ABOUT TOYOTA GAZOO RACING W2RC PROGRAMME
Two of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing W2RC’s key sponsors, Red Bull and Eurol, have committed to share in the team’s W2RC journey for 2022, supporting Nasser and Mathieu’s efforts through TGR, with whom the crew have signed a two-year agreement. Eurol is the Dutch developer and producer of lubricants, additives, cleaners, technical fluids and specialty products, available in over 90 countries worldwide. Innovation, quality and sustainability are core values of the Eurol brand. Eurol provides TOYOTA GAZOO Racing with the Eurol Specialty Racing line with SYNGIS Technology, for extreme high-performance levels under all circumstances.
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 Nasser, Mathieu and TGR over numerous years, and the involvement bore fruit when Nasser and Mathieu won a second Dakar title for TGR earlier this year.