Sunday, June 23, 2024

Nasser Al-Attiyah to finish 2023 W2RC season with TGR

Although his contract at Toyota Gazoo Racing was set to end after the Desafío Ruta 40, Nasser Al-Attiyah plans to complete the 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship with the team. TGR announced Monday that Al-Attiyah will also run the season-ending Rallye du Maroc on 12–18 October, though neither party has revealed their plans for 2024.

“I am excited to be able to complete the final two rounds of the 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship with Toyota Gazoo Racing, and the upcoming races offer fantastic opportunities for us to score valuable points in our quest to win back-to-back W2RC titles,” Al-Attiyah stated.

Al-Attiyah is on the verge of his second straight W2RC title after winning the Dakar Rally and Sonora Rally. Entering next week’s round in Argentina, he leads fellow Toyota Hilux driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi by thirty points while Sébastien Loeb, who sits third, will end his championship pursuit as Bahrain Raid Xtreme skips the race to focus on Morocco.

In July, Al-Attiyah announced the Baja España Aragón would be his final Baja with TGR but left the door open to a return if negotiations go well. According to co-driver Mathieu Baumel, he and Al-Attiyah elected to test the market as they felt the Hilux, while still the top rally raid vehicle today, posed too many uncertainties in the long run to stick around.

Bahrain Raid Xtreme, TGR’s South African satellite, and M-Sport’s Ford Ranger programme have also courted Al-Attiyah. Initial reports following his announcement had stated he would join Prodrive for the Rallye du Maroc onwards, though Monday’s news poured water on that rumour. Still, Al-Attiyah has not confirmed if he would remain with Toyota for the 2024 Dakar Rally or W2RC season.

TGR intends to reveal their 2024 lineup after the Rallye du Maroc.

“I am pleased to confirm the continuity of our successful partnership with Nasser and Mathieu for the remainder of the 2023 W2RC season,” said TGR rally raid boss Alain Dujardyn. “I’m also pleased to be able to announce our continued Toyota Gazoo Racing participation in the next W2RC season. Later this year, after the Rally of Morocco, we’ll confirm further details for 2024 including our driver and vehicle lineup. However, for the moment, our focus is on the Desafío Ruta 40, which is sure to offer a stern test not only to the crew, but also to our GR DKR Hilux T1+.”

The Desafío Ruta 40 begins on 28 August and runs through 1 September.