W2RC title for Nasser - TGR records a clean sweep
• Stage 2 victory for Nasser and Mathieu
• Nasser secures second consecutive driver's title
• Clean sweep of titles for TGR
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing's (TGR) Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver, Mathieu Baumel, set the fastest time over the second stage of this year's Rally of Morocco. The pair had to open the route after winning Stage 1 of the event, but despite the lack of a defined track, the GR DKR Hilux T1+ crew managed to win Stage 2, not only building on their lead, but also sealing the 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC) Driver's Title for Nasser in the process.
Stage 2 was a looped stage, starting and ending near the bivouac at the Moroccan town of Zagora. At 296 km in length, the stage was a tough one, yet the TGR crew prevailed to take the win. As a result, Nasser has now moved beyond the reach of Yazeed Al Rahji in the W2RC standings, which means that the Qatari driver secured his second consecutive W2RC title, adding to the Co-Drivers' and Manufacturers' titles that the team had already secured earlier in the season.
Nasser and Mathieu completed the second stage in a time of 2h 52min 29sec, putting them 2min 11sec ahead of their nearest competitors. As with Stage 1, half of the Top 10 crews on the day were behind the wheels of Toyota Hilux T1+ race cars, again proving the toughness and reliability of the car. And, as in Stage 1, the Dakar-winnig GR DKR Hilux T1+ of Nasser and Mathieu ran without any technical difficulties.
Next up is Stage 3 of the 2023 Rally of Morocco, which will take place from the bivouac at Zagora, coming back to the same bivouac in the evening. Covering 336km of racing distance, with liaisons of 108km, the third stage promises to be yet another stern test, with more sandy terrain on the menu. It also marks the mid-point of the rally, with two more stages to follow. The event is scheduled to finish in the city of Merzouga, on October 18th, 2023.
Alain Dujardyn, TGR W2RC Team Principal: “What a moment for TGR! In 2022, we won all the titles in the inaugural W2RC, and this year we managed to repeat that feat. Driver, co-driver and manufacturer titles, all sealed for the second consecutive season. We are overjoyed, and now we can focus on the remainder of the 2023 Rally of Morocco."
Nasser Al-Attiyah: “Winning a second W2RC title with Toyota is amazing. The GR DKR Hilux T1+ has been a fantastic car to drive, and I am very happy to have won the title again. Now, we have all the titles in the bag, and we will push towards victory here in Morocco."
Mathieu Baumel: “Opening the stage today was a challenge, yet we managed to not only maintain our lead, but build on it. Any day that you lead a race is a good day, and we are proud of what we achieved here today, sealing the third W2RC title in the process. Three more stages to go, and we will open again tomorrow."
Rally of Morocco Stage 2 Results:
1., N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA), TOYOTA GAZOO RACING, 2:52:29
2. C. Sainz (ESP) / L. Cruz (ESP), TEAM AUDI SPORT, +2:11
3. S. Loeb (FRA) / F. Lurquin (BEL), BAHRAIN RAID XTREME, +2:30
4. Y. Al Rajhi (SAU) / T. Gottschalk (DEU), OVERDRIVE RACING, +3:12
5. S. Peterhansel (FRA) / E. Boulanger (FRA), TEAM AUDI SPORT, +3:55
Rally of Morocco Standings after Stage 2:
1., N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA), TOYOTA GAZOO RACING, 6:08:01
2. Y. Al Rajhi (SAU) / T. Gottschalk (DEU), OVERDRIVE RACING, +5:31
3. C. Sainz (ESP) / L. Cruz (ESP), TEAM AUDI SPORT, +6:00
4. S. Loeb (FRA) / F. Lurquin (BEL), BAHRAIN RAID XTREME, +6:08
5. S. Peterhansel (FRA) / E. Boulanger (FRA), TEAM AUDI SPORT, +13:14
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Two of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing W2RC's key sponsors, Red Bull and Eurol, have committed to share in the team's W2RC journey for 2023, supporting Nasser and Mathieu's efforts through TGR. 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 in January 2022.
The team is also supported by Jonsson Workwear and USN.