TOYOTA GAZOO Racing set for Morocco showdown as W2RC resumes
- Victory during Rally of Morocco Prologue for Nasser and Mathieu
- Second place on Stage 1
- Two punctures cost stage win
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel drove their Dakar-winning GR DKR Hilux T1+ to victory in the prologue to the Rally of Morocco, placing them in pole position from which they could attack the third round of the inaugural World Rally-Raid Championship. The pair found themselves a single point behind the championship leader going into the penultimate event, and a good result in Morocco could see them take the lead with one round to go. The opening stage, however, saw them suffer two punctures, dropping them to second position in the day’s standings.
The TGR pairing initially set the pace in the opening stage of the 2022 Rally of Morocco – a 322 km-long timed stage, set between the coastal city of Agadir and the town of Tan Tan. The day also included liaisons of 240 km. But an early puncture saw the Toyota crew lose ground to their nearest competitors, though they were still in the lead at that point.
However, a second puncture followed shortly after the mid-stage restart of the timed section, dropping Nasser and Mathieu into second position. They pushed hard towards the finish, but had to settle for a 3min 13sec time loss to the privateer Toyota Hilux T1+ crew of Yazeed Al Rajhi and co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz.
As such, the TGR crew will be the second car into Stage 2 of the five-stage event, setting them up to push hard throughout the 316 km-long timed section, between Tan Tan and Laayoune. The 2022 Rally of Morocco will feature a total of 1,506 km of timed stages, and is set to conclude on October 6th, back in the city of Agadir.
Glyn Hall, Team Principal:
“Our TGR DKR Hilux T1+ ran really well today, and Nasser was very happy with the performance of the car. We were unfortunate to suffer two punctures, which cost us the best part of five minutes. Despite this, we are pleased with today’s effort, and look forward to the remainder of this tough event.”
“Today’s stage was a tough one, with lots of fine dust that made visibility tricky. It was in these conditions that we got two punctures, putting us back a little bit. But the car was strong and we’ll be back to fight for the win again tomorrow.”
“Conditions today made the stage a difficult one. On the navigation front the challenges were somewhat less, though the dust and the fast pace always kept us on our toes. We were unfortunate to lose time with the punctures today, but we’re ready for tomorrow’s Stage 2.”
CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 1:
1. Y. Al Rajhi (SAU) / D. Von Zitzewitz (DEU) Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux 3:36:41
2. N. Al-Attiya (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing TGR DKR Hilux T1+ +3min 13sec
3. J. Przygonski (POL) / A. Monleon (ESP) X-Rain MINI JCW Team Mini Buggy +7min 29sec
4. G. Chicherit (FRA) / A. Winoq (FRA) GCK Motorsport Hunter +9min 57sec
5. O. Terranova (ARG) / A. Haro Bravo (ESP) Bahrain Raid Extreme Hunter +13min 38sec