Hilux wins Dakar, first Toyota victory since the race moved to South America in 2012
The Hilux team of Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel emerged victorious late on Thursday as the two cruised into the bivouac at Pisco near Lima in Peru where the eighth South American Dakar was staged. The team managed to grow their significant 38 minute lead to almost 47 minutes during the final stage.
Shadowing the winners were another Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Hilux team, Dakar veteran Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz, who, in an immeasurable act of chivalry, forfeited 55 minutes and their eighth position on the log, to run back-up for the leaders, ensuring their win.
This was the first win for Toyota and the first time a petrol car won the South American Dakar.
De Villiers and Von Zitzewitz’ sacrifice came after the race organisers decided to run the final stage in reverse order, meaning that Al Attiyah and Baumel departed nearly an hour after De Villiers and Von Zitzewitz.
The pair waited out the 55 minutes before their teammates launched into the stage, and then followed in close formation. Sadly, this cost De Villiers and Von Zitzewitz a place in the overall rankings and they had to settle for ninth in the end. Even so, De Villiers has always completed the race in the top ten for the past eight years.
The Dakar was run for 33 years in the Sahara before moving to South America.
Al Attiyah and Baumel’s Dakar victory means that Toyota Gazoo Racing has now won both the world’s toughest automotive races – the 24 Hours Le Mans, and the Dakar Rally.
An elated Al Attiyah and Baumel said “We are so happy to win the Dakar – not only for ourselves, but also for Toyota and the entire Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team. Everyone has worked so hard for so long, and really deserve this. Thank you for letting us drive this car.”
Team Principal, Glyn Hall, commented “This victory was long overdue. Winning the Dakar is never easy. There are a lot of people trying. This year’s race was no exception and brought a rollercoaster of emotions and results for the teams. This race will long be remembered as one of the toughest tests in the last decade.”
1. Al Attiyah / Baumel (Hilux)
2. Roma / Haro (Mini) +46:42
3. Loeb / Elena (Peugeot) +01:54:18
4. Przygonski / Colsoul (Mini) +02:28:31
5. Despres / Cottret (Mini) +02:48:43
6. Prokop / Tomanek (Ford) +03:19:02
7. Al Rajhi / Gottschalk (Mini) +04:30:56
8. Garafulic / Palmeiro (Mini) +07:57:58
9. De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz (Hilux) +07:59:16
10. Chabot / Pillot (Hilux) +08:09:58
Caption: From the left, Mathieu Baumel, Glyn Hall and ace rally driver, Nasser Al Attiyah.