Nasser, Giniel, Henk & Shameer set for Dakar in long-travel fat wheel Hilux
It was inevitable. Once Dakar finally ratified new regulations to equalise its 4×4 and buggy rules, it was just a matter of time before Toyota Gazoo Racing took its race Hiluxes to the gym. And now, officially, here it is!
T1+ Is already race proven
The all-new GR DKR Hilux T1+ is no secret. It’s raced already. Twice. Even if it did not count in the results. But today the Gazoo gang confirmed the new machine for Dakar 2022. Now out of its prototype phase, T1+ will continue to be refined until the early January Dakar Rally. It completes the team’s biggest technological leap for the since its inception in 2011.
T1+ is powered by the 298 kW 660 Nm of 3.5 litre biturbo V6. Nicked from the all-new Toyota Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport. The lighter lump gives GR DKR Hilux T1+ more low-down torque than its predecessor. To allow the team to better ballast to the nw 2-tonne class weight for ultimate handling in the dunes. The standard engine is enough to meet Dakar performance limits. It even uses stock Toyota turbochargers and intercooler, although that was tweaked to fit the racer
The turbo V6 turns a Sadev 6-speed sequential shift gearbox via a 215 mm ceramic twin plate clutch. That drives limited slip front, centre and rear differentials. Double wishbone suspension travel increases from 280 mm to 350 mm. To allow the drivers maximum attack on fat new BF Goodrich tyres. They have grown from 32 to 37 inches in diameter. And from 245 mm to 320 mm wide on aluminium finish Method 17-inch race wheels. Kept natural for best brake heat radiation.
Stock engine, spaceframe chassis
DKR T1+ is built around a tubular spaceframe with composite Hilux panels. It retains the classic front-mid-engine all-wheel Dakar layout used since 2016. It also retains a core cockpit layout, but now carries only two spare tyres rather three. The Dakar Hilux has a 540 litre safety cell fuel tank. The biturbo V6 is controlled by a Motec electronic control unit.
T1+ flies the same latest Gazoo Racing colours it shares with Toyota’s WEC and WRC racers. It promises to be a leading contender in the January epic, and beyond. This year’s team continues as per 2021 with four all-new GR DKR T1+s. They will be crewed by Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah and French notes man Mathieu Baumel. Backed by three South African crews. Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy, Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings, and Shameer Variawa and Danie Stassen.
“Our all-new Toyota GR DKR Hilux has progressed extremely well over the last few months of development,” Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Principal Glyn Hall explained. “We’re confident that it is now ready to take on the Dakar Rally. The Land Cruiser turbo V6 has proven reliable from the get-go. “Working with it in stock form means that we don’t have to stress the engine to extract maximum performance.”
Nasser likes T1+ in the rough
“I continue to be impressed by the new car,” triple Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah enthused. “It’s particularly good on the tough terrain. “We can tackle it harder with the new, bigger tyres and the engine delivers excellent power and torque. “We cant wait the car in race conditions this coming weekend. “We’ve worked hard on the new car,” 2009 winner Giniel de Villiers added. “I believe we are very close to an ideal setup. “We hope to validate that in this weekend’s Parys race.”
Henk Lategan: “I’ve done a fair amount of testing,” Henk Lategan explained. “The new tyres and suspension are truly spectacular.” Shameer Variawa is also impressed: “The new V6 engine has been highly impressive from the start and can’t wait to finally get behind the wheel of the new car. “We have just one round left in the local championship at Parys this weekend. After which all eyes will turn to Dakar.” — Pieter Bell & Michele Lupini