Dakar great Al-Attiyah set to leave Toyota

Five-time Dakar Rally winner expected to join new team before end of current W2RC season

Nasser Al-Attiyah & Mathieu Baumel

Five-time Dakar Rally winner Nasser Al-Attiyah will leave Toyota Gazoo Racing ahead of next January’s event in Saudi Arabia.

DirtFish understands that Al-Attiyah has agreed terms with a rival team and will likely head for pastures new before the end of the current World Rally-Raid Championship campaign.

Al-Attiyah, who is the second most successful Dakar competitor in the car category, is the defending W2RC champion and recently took his sixth victory on the Baja España Aragón.

Upon reaching the finish in Aragón, Al-Attiyah revealed that he would not be contesting any more Baja events with TGR.

Nasser Al-Attiyah

“I am very happy for this victory, my sixth here in Baja Spain,” the Qatari said. “It’s incredible to have won [against] Audi, Toyota and Ford and with the best drivers in the world.

“It’s the last Baja race for me with Toyota. I want to thank my team for their work over the last six years and I am very grateful for everything they have given me.”

Al-Attiyah’s departure from Toyota marks the end of an era for the South Africa-based squad run by the experienced Glyn Hall.

Alongside navigator Mathieu Baumel, Al-Attiyah finished second in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies in 2019 before winning his fifth title in 2021.

The pair also have three Dakar victories to their name, in 2019, 2022 and 2023.

While unconfirmed, Al-Attiyah has been linked with the Prodrive-run Bahrain Raid Xtreme outfit for next season, with the Qatari’s replacement within the Toyota ranks expected to be announced in due course.

Last year’s W2RC T4 Side-by-Side champion and former World Rallycross Championship driver Rokas Baciuška made his T1+ class debut in Aragón at the wheel of an Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux DKR, while double South African Cross-Country Rally champion Henk Lategan looks set to assume the team leader role.