Toyota celebrates another outstanding performance at Dakar 2021 in Saudi Arabia

  • Unprecedented eight consecutive victories for Land Cruiser in Dakar Rally 
  • Auto Body’s Land Cruisers secured a 1-2 victory in the Production Car category 
  • GAZOO Racing’s Hilux claimed second place in the Four-Wheel Drive category

Dubai, UAE: 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 iconic Land Cruiser continued to dominate the Production Car category, with the Toyota Auto Body team claiming a spectacular 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 incredible 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 legendary race.

Akio Toyoda, President, Toyota Motor Corporation, commented: “Congratulations to all Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body team members for their eighth straight victory, and to Miura san and Lichtleuchter for winning the championship! I would also like to congratulate Al-Attiyah and Baumel for taking on the challenge in the Hilux, finishing second overall. I think it’s a wonderful result because they never gave up and continued to trust their partners, the team, and people who supported them.”

Toyoda continued: “I think this year’s Dakar was very unique. It was a very significant day for the automobile industry to be able to compete at a rally held under such challenging circumstances. Taking advantage of this experience, we at Toyota will continue our efforts to make ever-better cars. We’re grateful to all the fans and appreciate your continued support. Thank you very much to all our fans everywhere.”

The 2021 edition of the Dakar Rally was held in Saudi Arabia and kicked off with a Prologue on January 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-kilometre route. 

The GR duo went on to secure wins in Stage 2 (Bisha – Wadi Ad-Dawasir), Stage 3 (Wadi Ad-Dawasir –Wadi Ad-Dawasir), Stage 4 (Wadi Ad-Dawasir – Riyadh), Stage 8 (Sakaka – Neom), and Stage 11 (Al Ula – Yanbu). Al-Attiyah and Baumel headed into the final stage in second place, just over fifteen minutes behind the leading car. Despite closing the gap during the 200-kilometer-long stage from Yanbu to Jeddah, the No. 301 GR Toyota Hilux finished Dakar 2021 in second place overall.

Nasser Al-Attiyah, Driver of the No. 301 GR Toyota Hilux, commented: “This is a fantastic result for us. I’m really proud of the team and would like to thank the entire GR team for the hard work they’ve put in to make this a reality.” 

Akira Miura, Driver of the No. 340 Toyota Land Cruiser, said: “In this year’s Dakar Rally, I maintained a positive outlook every day, and I really enjoyed the driving in a very good way. I believe this is why we were able to win. I could strongly feel how much everyone contributed to creating an environment that enabled a focus on the driver. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.” 

Over the years, Toyota has been participating in many different forms of motorsports, ‎including Formula One, the World Endurance Championship (WEC), 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 events, GR aims to forge new ‎technologies and solutions that bring the freedom, adventure, and joy of driving to everyone.

Race Notes:

  • No. 301 GR Toyota Hilux (Nasser Al-Attiyah and Matthieu Baumel)
  • Position: 2nd 
  • Time: 44h 42m 02s

About Al-Futtaim Toyota:

Toyota, a Japanese automotive manufacturer founded in 1937, is the world’s market leader in sales of hybrid electric vehicles. Toyota has been exclusively distributed in the UAE by Al-Futtaim Automotive, part of Al-Futtaim Group, for over six decades, and has been leading the sustainable mobility movement since 2008. 

With a large line-up of vehicles ranging from SUV, compact, sedan, coupe, MPV and LCV, as well as a wide range of Hybrid options, Al-Futtaim Toyota is setting new benchmarks for clean motoring in an effort to actively contribute to a lower carbon footprint in the UAE. 2017 saw the introduction of the zero-emission hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Toyota Mirai, in a pilot aiming at studying the possibilities of establishing a hydrogen-based, carbon-free society.

Toyota’s line-up features several hybrid vehicles including the sporty, practical and environmentally friendly RAV4, the C-HR, an innovative compact SUV, the seven-seater Highlander which is the brands biggest HEV to date, the powerful and efficient Corolla and the sleek and sophisticated Camry. 

About Al-Futtaim Automotive:

Al-Futtaim Automotive, one of the main four operating divisions within the UAE-based Al-Futtaim Group of companies, is a conglomerate of motoring-related businesses, franchising some of the world’s most-recognized automotive brands and services.

Operating in 10 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa and empowered by around 9,000 associates, the UAE-headquartered Group’s services span across distribution of new and used vehicles, manufacturing, leasing, and aftersales.

Ranging from passenger cars to SUVs, commercial vehicles, industrial and construction equipment as well as motorbikes and quads, Al-Futtaim Automotive Group offers an integrative customer-centric experience for motorists, fleet operators and contractors alike, and strives to become the leader in tailor-made mobility solutions.

About Al-Futtaim:

Established in the 1930s as a trading business, Al-Futtaim Group today is one of the most diversified and progressive, privately held regional businesses headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 

Structured into five operating divisions; automotive, financial services, real estate, retail and health; employing more than 42,000 employees in more than 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, we partner with over 200 of the world’s most admired and innovative brands. 

Al-Futtaim’s entrepreneurship and relentless customer focus enables the organization to continue to grow and expand; responding to the changing needs of our customers within the societies in which we operate. 

By upholding our values of respect, excellence, collaboration, integrity; Al-Futtaim continues to enrich the lives and aspirations of our customers each and every day.