Toyota Truck Wins Dakar Rally

January 18, 2019 at 12:24 PM

Toyota Motor Corp.’s Gazoo Racing won the Dakar Rally in Peru with a specially equipped Hilux pickup truck.

The Toyota team finished 46 minutes ahead of second-place X-Raid’s Mini 4x4 over the 10-day event, which concluded Thursday in Lima. More than 300 vehicles across four categories (cars, commercial trucks, motorcycles and quad-bikes) competed in the grueling 3,230-mile off-road race this year.

The winning Hilux was piloted by drivers Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel. Both drivers previously won Dakar titles with different teams.

The win was Toyota’s first at Dakar after finishing second in 2018. The victory is the latest triumph for Toyota racing, which also won its first-ever Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race and WRC manufacturers' crown last summer.

Peugeot, which won the last three Dakar races, didn’t field a team this year. But a private team led by nine-time world rally champion Sebastian Loeb drove a Peugeot 3008 to a third-place finish.

Kamoz finished first the truck category. KTM won the motorcycle category for the 18th straight year.

Unlike previous Dakar races that passed through several countries, this year’s event was held entirely in Peru. The race moved from Africa to South America in 2009 due to safety concerns.