TGR's insatiable appetite for winning continues into Dakar 2024
Success, particularly in racing, doesn't come without a target on your back. Toyota has shown serious capability in the Dakar over the past couple of years, and to stay ahead of the pack, it has a new weapon that will kick up some dust in the 2024 installation. Sending five crews to Dakar, while two crews are set to complete the full W2RC championship season.
First, though, is the contender: The weapon of choice for conquering the great deserts is the new GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U, which will see its first action at Dakar 2024. This will be the first round of the W2RC 2024, and before we dig into this any further, let's introduce the drivers and co-drivers who will be piloting Gazoo Racing's newest barnstormer.
Lucas Moraes and his co-pilot, Armand Monleon, will be operating car number 206.
Dennis Murphy will be Giniel de Villiers' co-pilot as they operate car number 209.
Seth Quintero and Dennis Zenz, his co-pilot, will be operating car number 216.
Francois Cazalet will be Saood Variawa's co-pilot as they operate car number 226.
Guy Botterill and his co-pilot Brett Cummings will operate car number 243.
It is refreshing to see young local faces like Saood in the lineup, as TGR will be showing up with the largest Dakar team. We have high hopes for this youngster, and seeing his impressive ability to adapt to various racing disciplines leads us to believe that there is a promising future for Saood in international racing, since this is only the start.
Now, let's get back into the GR DKR Hilux T1U, which, besides having a tongue-twister and infinitely complicated designation, also has a potent V6 named the V35A. This unit produces a robust 264kW and 620 Nm, is bolted to a 6-speed sequential gearbox, and weighs in at a total weight of 2,010kg.
So what's different about this new rally car compared to the previous championship-winning rocket? This unit's 100mm larger width allows for better cornering, while the suspension also received some love to enhance handling on rugged desert terrain. To increase efficiency, the air conditioning unit has been repositioned, and a better cooling package has also been added.
To ensure TGR produced a reliable rally car, 30,000km of testing has taken place throughout 2023, and extended testing and milage were added in the Namib and Kalahari Deserts for final preparation. Again taking place in Saudi Arabia, the Dakar is slated to run from January 5 to January 19.