2022 FIA World Rally-Raid Championship dominated by Toyota

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2022 FIA World Rally-Raid Championship dominated by Toyota

Toyota Gazoo Racing completed the inaugural FIA World Rally-Raid Championship (officially abbreviated to W2RC) by delivering a dominant performance in every category: for drivers, co-drivers and as a manufacturer.

The title treble was secured when Nasser Al-Attiyah and navigator Mathieu Baumel (below) brought home their GR DKR Hilux T1+ in second place on the final round in Spain. It was a result that ensured a clean sweep of all available titles and a fitting conclusion to a year that began with victory in the Dakar Rally.

In a testament to its toughness, the racing Hilux only suffered one mechanical issue throughout the gruelling season, and that was the result of an extremely hard and unlucky landing. Other than that, the team’s progress was only hampered by punctures.

Matt Harrison, president of Toyota Motor Europe, commented: “The challenges of W2RC have given us insights into the toughest conditions imaginable, allowing us to build ever-better cars for the people who prefer to take the road less travelled. Winning the inaugural championship demonstrated that we are on the right track.

“I’d like to extend my gratitude to Nasser and Mathieu, and to every member of the TGR W2RC team, for the personal contributions made in the development of the GR DKR Hilux T1+ at every test and rally. Despite facing many challenges and setbacks, your dedication ensured that Toyota Gazoo Racing became the first World Rally-Raid Champion.”

A brief recap of the 2022 FIA World Rally-Raid Championship

The inaugural W2RC featured four tough rounds on three different continents. The total timed distance for all rounds came to nearly 5,000 miles, thoroughly testing both team and machine across terrain ranging from rocky tracks, mud and sand to endless dunes.

ROUND 1  Dakar Rally 
1-14 January 2022 
Al-Attiyah and Baumel got their campaign off to an excellent start, winning three stages and recording five further podium finishes. This gained them 35 stage points, plus 50 points for their overall victory in the world’s toughest automotive event 
ROUND 2  Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 
5-10 March 2022 
Here the crew suffered a hard landing that damaged the Hilux suspension and forced retirement from the opening stage. A resulting 20-hour penalty meant that victory was out of reach, but the crew fought back, winning each of the remaining stages to secure 20 stage points and six points for an 11th place finish 
ROUND 3  Rally of Morocco 
1-6 October 2022 
Multiple punctures put paid to the crew’s hopes for victory in Morocco. Al-Attiyah and Baumel continued to push despite the setbacks, resulting in 13 stage points and 20 points for third position overall. By this point of the season, the TGR crew had overtaken their nearest rivals, who had been holding a slender lead in the championship standings 
ROUND 4  Andalucia Rally 
18-23 October 2022 
On the final round of the season, the weather became a key factor. Despite the conditions, Al-Attiyah and Baumel brought their Hilux home in first place on the final stage, sealing second place in the overall standings and securing enough points to claim the inaugural W2RC title 

2022 FIA World Rally-Raid Championship final standings:

Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)  Toyota Gazoo Racing  GR DKR Hilux T1+  169 points 
Sebastien Loeb (F)  Bahrain Raid Xtreme  Hunter  149 
Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU)  Overdrive Racing  Hilux  121 
Jakub Przygonski (PL)  X-Raid MINI JCW Team  MINI  77 
Francisco Lopez (CHL)  South Racing Can-Am  Can-Am  71 

Driver Championship

Mathieu Baumel (F)  Toyota Gazoo Racing  GR DKR Hilux T1+  169 points 
Fabian Lurquin (F)  Bahrain Raid Xtreme  Hunter  149 
Dirk von Zitzewitz (D) Overdrive Racing  Hilux  121 
Timo Gottschalk (D)  X-Raid MINI JCW Team  MINI  77 
Alex Haro Bravo (E)  South Racing Can-Am  Can-Am  71 

Co-Driver Championship

Toyota Gazoo Racing  GR DKR Hilux T1+  163 points 
Bahrain Raid Xtreme  Hunter  135 
OT3 by Overdrive  OT3  102 
X-Raid MINI JCW Team  MINI  92 
PH-Sport  Peugeot  58 

Manufacturer/Team Championship

Looking ahead to the 2023 championship

The team is now turning its attention to the 2023 Dakar Rally in January 2023, with a final shakedown test scheduled for December in Namibia. The engineers are busy creating solutions to the lessons learned from this season’s stages, together with data captured from the Hilux’s participation in the South African Rally-Raid Championship.

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