TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) to contest Qatar International Baja with Al-Attiyah / Baumel
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will be entering Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel in the 2022 Qatar International Baja, Round 2 of the FIA’s Middle-East Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, which takes place from 24-26 March this year. This follows the cancellation of the 3rd round of the 2022 World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC), which was due to take place in Kazakhstan during April.
The team will be competing in their Dakar-winning GR DKR Hilux T1+, with the aim of continuing the development of the spectacular car, which saw them win four of the five stages that made up Round 2 of the 2022 W2RC, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, earlier this month.
Despite an ‘unlucky’ landing shortly after the start, which caused the TGR to withdraw from the opening stage of the event, Nasser and Mathieu pushed hard throughout the remainder of the rally, recording four stage wins despite opening the route on three of those.
They are keen on preserving this momentum, and with the cancellation of Rally Kazakhstan, it made sense for the team to identify an alternative racing opportunity. Even though the Baja rounds are shorter than the full W2RC events, the team is confident that the Qatar International Baja will yield good data in its ongoing quest to build ever-better race cars.
The Qatar International Baja consists of a prologue stage on March 24th, followed by two stages of roughly 200 km each on March 25th and 26th. The race will be based at the Losail Circuit Sports Club throughout the event. The next round of the W2RC calendar will be the Andalucia Rally, on June 7th, 2022.
Glyn Hall, Team Principal:
“We are excited about the opportunity to continue the testing and development of our Dakar-winning GR DKR Hilux T1+ in Qatar. While this race wasn’t originally in our plan for the year, we feel that any mileage is valuable, and the opportunity for Nasser to race in his home country is appealing. Moreover, the value of the data that we’ll collect during the race is invaluable.”
“Racing in Qatar is always a pleasure for me, and while the Baja is relatively short, I still think it has a lot of value. I’m really looking forward to performing in front of my home crowd, but also adding some more test mileage to the development of our car.”