Toyota has proved once again the capabilities of its vehicles on all terrains and harsh climatic conditions, with a spectacular performance at the world’s most extreme motorsports event, the Dakar Rally. Toyota’s Land Cruiser continued to dominate the Production Car category, with the Toyota Auto Body team claiming a one-two victory. Akira Miura and Laurent Lichtleuchter took first place in the No. 340 Toyota Land Cruiser, while teammates Ronald Basso and Jean-Michel Polato finished as runners-up in the No. 345 Toyota Land Cruiser. This milestone means that the Land Cruiser has now achieved eight consecutive championship wins at the Dakar Rally.
Meanwhile, Gazoo Racing (GR)’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and navigator Mathieu Baumel achieved second place in the Four-Wheel Drive category after securing five stage victories in the No. 301 GR Toyota Hilux. The Hilux proved a runaway success at this year’s rally, with various drivers winning eight out of the 12 stages behind the wheel of the model at the race.
The 2021 edition of the Dakar Rally was held in Saudi Arabia and kicked off with a Prologue on Jan. 2 to determine starting positions on the outskirts of Jeddah. Al-Attiyah and Baumel, who have previously won the 2019 Dakar Rally and took second place last year, got off to the best possible start in the No. 301 GR Toyota Hilux after finishing fastest on the 11-kilometer route.
Over the years, Toyota has participated in many different forms of motorsports, including Formula One, the World Endurance Championship, and the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race. Toyota’s participation in these events was overseen by separate entities within the company until April 2015, when Toyota established GR, to consolidate all its motorsport activities under one in-house brand. Representing Toyota’s belief that “the roads build the people, and the people build the cars,” GR highlights the role of motorsports as a fundamental pillar of Toyota’s commitment to making “ever-better” cars. Harnessing years of experience gained under the extreme conditions of various motorsports, GR aims to forge new technologies and solutions that bring the freedom, adventure, and joy of driving to everyone.
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