Toyota Gazoo Racing is delighted to be able to announce its all-star line-up for next year’s Dakar Rally, scheduled to take place for the first time in Saudi Arabia in January 2020. But the other important first for 2020 is the inclusion of motorsport legend Fernando Alonso as part of the works team.
2020 Dakar Rally: meet the works team
Nasser Al-Attiyah (above right) and navigator Mathieu Baumel (above left) will look to defend their Dakar Rally title to add to their impressive list of achievements, including multiple FIA World Cups for Cross Country Rallies and Dakar Rally victories.
Giniel de Villiers (above right) is another experienced campaigner with the 2009 Dakar Rally victory to his name and four Rally of Morocco crowns, the latest coming earlier this month with his new navigator Alex Haro (above left).
Bernhard ten Brinke (above right), also a former winner in Morocco, is reunited with Tom Colsoul (above left), who hails from a rally dynasty and has been competing across different rally disciplines over the years with multiple successes in the truck category.
Fernando Alonso (above right) is two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, reigning FIA World Endurance Championship title holder, two-time Formula 1 World Champion, and winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona. The Spaniard will drive Toyota Gazoo Racing’s fourth entry in the 2020 Dakar Rally as part of his ambition to try different motorsport disciplines and become an even more complete racing driver.
Sitting alongside him in the navigator seat is fellow legend Marc Coma, who has six Cross Country World Championships and five Dakar Rally victories in the motorcycle category under his belt.
The Spanish super-duo, both of whom are transitioning into different forms of motorsport, have been hard at work since August, training in some of the harshest conditions and terrains throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. So far, Fernando and Marc have more than doubled their planned training mileage, a signal of the duo’s determination to conquer one of motorsport’s most rigorous events.
2020 Dakar Rally: revised Toyota Hilux
All four crews will compete in the latest version of the rally proven Toyota Hilux. Last year saw the introduction of an all-new Dakar Hilux. Described by team principal Glyn Hall as a technological leap forward, the pick-up immediately proved itself with a second and third place on its Dakar Rally debut, before winning the event outright this year.
Following Toyota’s philosophy of “making ever-better cars”, the team has continued to refine the Hilux for the 2020 campaign. It features independent suspension systems, a mid-mounted engine and all-wheel drive, with the 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine sitting just behind the front wheels.
2020 Dakar Rally: Saudi Arabia
The 2020 Dakar Rally will be contested solely in Saudi Arabia, with the rally starting on 5 January in the western city of Jeddah. The route will head north, before turning south-east to the capital city of Riyadh where crews will enjoy the traditional event rest day. The second half of the rally traverses through what’s known as the ‘Empty Quarter,’ the world’s largest contiguous sand desert, before finishing in the city of Al-Qiddiya on 17 January.