14 January 2019

Toyota Hilux Leads Dakar Rally

Toyota HiLux leads the gruelling Dakar rally.

Toyota HiLux is leading the gruelling Dakar rally into its final days in the hands of former winners Nasser Al Attiyah and navigator Mathieu Baumel.

The Qatari superstar and his French navigator, competing under the Toyota GAZOO Racing SA banner, have led the overall rally after every stage bar one.

Confirming HiLux's durability in the world's toughest motorsport event, Al Attiyah/Baumel improved their advantage after five stages to almost 25 minutes, marking the mid-point of the rally before a weekend rest day.

When competition resumed early today (Australian time), Al Attiyah's hopes of a third Dakar triumph received a further boost when he and Baumel extended their lead to more than 37 minutes after the sixth of 10 stages.

The team is aiming to go one better than last year's Dakar rally when Toyota HiLux placed second and third - its best result in the event's 40-year history.

From the start, Al Attiyah and Baumel set the pace in their HiLux, winning the opening stage by almost two minutes over last year's winner, Carlos Sainz (MINI).

The first-stage victory forced them to open the road on the second stage's thick sand and fine dust, resulting in the 10th-fastest time but leaving them in an ideal position to attack.

A stunning performance by the Qatari master in the third stage's thick Peruvian sand resulted in the second-fastest stage time and the overall lead of the rally.

The pair extended their race-leading advantage to almost nine minutes on the fourth stage, by a further 16 minutes on the fifth stage and an additional 12 minutes on the sixth stage.

Al Attiyah, speaking on the rest day in Arequipa, said the HiLux was in perfect condition.

"We decided to moderate our pace somewhat today," he said. "Even so, we are happy to have gone second-fastest on the day - and even happier to be leading the Dakar at the halfway mark."

Two other Toyota GAZOO Racing SA HiLux utes have consolidated their positions with top 10 times on many stages for Giniel de Villiers / Dirk von Zitzewitz and Bernhard ten Brinke / Xavier Panseri.

De Villiers led the rally after the second stage and both crews are in strong positions to support Al Attiyah / Baumel for the remainder of the rally.

The 3,000km torture test finishes in the Peruvian capital of Lima on Friday, Australian time.

Toyota motorsport

Toyota has a proud international motorsport history spanning more than 60 years. It became the first Japanese car manufacturer to enter international motorsport when it contested the 1957 Mobilgas Round Australia Rally, which is why many people consider Australia to be the birthplace of Toyota motorsport. Today, Toyota GAZOO Racing contests the FIA-sanctioned World Rally Championship, World Endurance Championship which features the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the gruelling Dakar rally. Closer to home, the Toyota 86 Racing Series seeks to develop the talent of tomorrow as Australia's premier grassroots circuit-racing category. In rallying, Toyota also supports the Toyota GAZOO Racing Australia rally team in the Australian Rally Championship.

Gazoo Racing

Back to News

Dear Valued Guests

There is no doubt COVID-19 has heightened our awareness of health and safety concerns.  So we thought you might want to know what steps we're taking to keep our staff and guests safe.

Precautions we are taking include:

  • Taking every team member's temperature each morning
  • Making hand sanitiser readily available throughout the dealership
  • Informing and educating our staff on hygiene and social distancing
  • Encouraging our team to take time off if they show any signs of ill health 
  • Disinfecting counters, tables, and furniture twice daily
  • Increasing the depth of our nightly site clean

If you are still concerned about having your vehicle serviced you may wish to use our Contactless Service Option.  Simply follow the instructions:

  • Drop your keys off in our Early Bird Key Box located on the wall at Service
  • Pay over the phone when your car is completed
  • Pick up your keys and you're away

We will continue to stay up to date with the latest government advice and commmit to doing whatever is required to minimise risk for all staff and guests.

If you have any questions regarding our COVID-19 policy please let us know by calling 03 5559 0000 or email us