TLC win at 2024 Dakar Rally shines spotlight on Toyota

Stunning TLC win at 2024 Dakar Rally shines spotlight on Toyota’s illustrious legacy of championing spirit of motorsport

Dubai, UAE, 14 February 2024: Team Land Cruiser Auto Body  – TLC – has secured an unprecedented 11th consecutive Production Car category victory at the recently concluded 2024 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia, reinforcing Toyota’s illustrious history spanning five decades of championing the spirit of motorsport at the highest level around the Middle East and throughout the world.

TLC Drivers

The record-breaking results were powered by the performance of Akira Miura and co-driver Mayeul Barbet, who took first place in their No. 500 Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport, with Ronald Basso and Jean-Michel Polato taking second in the No. 501 Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport.

The Dakar Rally, taking place in Saudi Arabia for the fifth time, covered 7,891km from AlUla to Yanbu along the Red Sea Coast, including 4,727km of timed specials, guiding 778 competitors through the diverse landscapes of the Kingdom. The 2024 edition also introduced the brand-new “48H CHRONO STAGE,” pushing participants’ endurance to the limit across two consecutive days of driving. The rally’s final stage was held on a challenging 174km loop in Yanbu, marking the conclusion of the 15-day event.

Celebrating the stunning victory, TGR Chairman Akio Toyoda said: “To everyone at Team Land Cruiser Auto Body, congratulations on winning the Production Car category for the 11th consecutive year! Car No. 500 achieved this memorable victory thanks to three people: driver Akira Miura alongside two navigators, Mayuel Barbe and the late Laurent Lichtleuchter, who was always watching over them. Thank you for your continued support in ‘making-ever better Land Cruisers’!”

High driving performance

The Land Cruiser 300, which marked its debut participation in Dakar Rally in last year’s edition with high driving performance and a one-two finish, managed to overcome previous speed-related challenges this time around with improvements in the engine air intake system, rear suspension, and enhanced tires.

Commenting on the win, Jacques Brent, Managing Director, Al-Futtaim Toyota & Lexus: “This fabulous win at Dakar Rally marks a fantastic start to 2024 for Toyota and adds another chapter to its illustrious legacy – once again underscoring our deep commitment to motorsports around the world and in the Emirates. At Al-Futtaim Toyota, we are proud to support this unwavering spirit and engage the region’s automotive and off-road communities with the launch of Al-Futtaim Toyota Motorsport Academy. In a nation that is so passionate about motoring, the Toyota and Lexus brands have become an integral part of the rally and off-roading culture of the UAE. The thrilling and competitive format of the Toyota Motorsport Academy empowers us to further develop this culture and support local driving talent who could well emerge as future rally winners.”

Winners of the Toyota Motorsport Academy get the once in a lifetime opportunity to become the Toyota UAE GR Ambassador for a year with multiple benefits, including driving a Toyota GR vehicle for a year, an all-expenses paid trip to a global racing event where Toyota is competing and a chance to participate in the FIA Cross Country Challenge.

Showcasing compact hydrogen mobility

The 2024 Dakar Rally also saw Toyota take part in the Dakar Future Program’s Mission 1000, an initiative that encourages automakers to develop hydrogen engines, electric or biofuel hybrids, and other cutting-edge carbon-neutral powertrain technologies. The participation provided a unique opportunity for Toyota to put its hydrogen engine-powered HySE-X1 to the test. Developed by the Hydrogen Small mobility & Engine technology (HySE) research association, a collaborative effort between Toyota and four other Japanese automotive and motorcycle manufacturers, the HySE-X1 is based on a chassis by Belgian partner Overdrive Racing, with a modified layout to accommodate a hydrogen fuel tank and fuel supply system. Its participation in Dakar Rally furthers Toyota’s carbon-neutrality efforts and promotes global awareness around the potential of compact hydrogen mobility.

Toyota’s participation is also in line with its presence across motorsports, ‎including Formula One, the World Endurance Championship (WEC), and the Nürburgring 24 ‎Hours endurance race – consolidated under its TGR brand. Representing ‎Toyota’s belief that ‘the roads build the people, and the people build the cars,’ TGR highlights the role of motorsports as a fundamental pillar of Toyota’s commitment to ‎making ‘ever-better’ cars.