Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Guillaume de Mevius to race Toyota Hilux T1+ at Rallye du Maroc

After the Baja TT Sharish Gin, T3 owner/driver Guillaume de Mévius said he would like to see the disparity between his class and the top-level T1 category be narrowed to allow for increased parity and an easier transition into the higher division. A week later, he is ready to make the jump himself.

De Mévius announced Monday that he and co-driver François Cazalet will race a Toyota Hilux T1+ prepared by Overdrive Racing at the Rallye du Maroc. He has clarified that the start does not necessarily mean a permanent transition into T1 yet, but to gauge his capabilities before seeing where to go from there.

“The time has come for us to try our luck in the benchmark category of rally raids,” said de Mévius. “This participation in the Rally of Morocco in an Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux T1+ is not yet an official commitment, but a initiative made possible by the involvement of various partners. The aim is therefore to show off our competitiveness with François, so that we can look ahead to the next stage.”

The Belgian currently oversees GRallyTeam, a T3 operation that competes in the FIA European Cup for Cross-Country Bajas where his brother Ghislan de Mévius sits second in points. Guillaume raced for Red Bull’s factory division before forming his own team for 2023 in partnership with Overdrive’s OT3 programme.

After retiring from his Dakar Rally début in 2022, he scored a stage win in the 2023 edition en route to a third in T3. He was the only non-Can-Am driver in the top five. While de Mévius has mostly focused on running his team since Dakar, he won the T3 class at the FIA World Cup’s Baja España Aragón in July.

He will return to Dakar for 2024. De Mévius described the 2024 route as “difficult, but nice” and lauded the new 48-hour Chrono Stage as a “very good idea.”

The Toyota Hilux T1+ is the top rally raid vehicle today, having won the last two Dakar Rallies and World Rally-Raid Championships with Nasser Al-Attiyah. Three versions of the Hilux are available such as the Overdrive Racing model, the SVR Hallspeed variant that Al-Attiyah races, and the new WCT Engineering edition for privateers. Rokas Baciuska, the back-to-back W2RC T4 champion, made his T1+ début in a Hilux Overdrive at the Baja Aragón and finished ninth overall.

The Rallye du Maroc will take place on 13–18 October.