Toyota confirms five crews for Dakar 2024

The Japanese brand has announced several new drivers to pilot its upgraded GR DKR Hilux


Toyota has announced its full lineup for the 2024 Dakar Rally, with five crews set to pilot the upgraded GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U on the Saudi Arabia-based endurance event.

The team has confirmed the return of the experienced South African Giniel de Villiers to partner the previously announced duo of Brasil’s Lucas Moraes and American Seth Quintero, both of whom are new to the team and will also contest the full 2024 FIA World Rally-Raid Championship.

2009 Dakar winner de Villiers is confident of challenging for victory in the latest evolution of the Hilux, saying: “The Dakar Rally is undoubtedly the highlight of the year.

“One of the things that make it so exciting for me, is the fact that I’m closely involved with the development of each new version of the Hilux, and to see it all come together at the race is very satisfying.

Giniel de Villiers

“I remain as competitive as ever and will be aiming for a solid performance come January. I know the car is good, the team is good, and I am inspired to give Dakar 2024 my best shot.”

Also new to the Japanese marque is Saood Variawa, who at just 18-years-old will become the youngest works driver to ever complete on the Dakar Rally. After gaining experience in rally-raid in his native South Africa, Variawa is enthusiastic about his chances, commenting: “Stepping up to the fastest rally-raid cars in the world is very exciting for me.

“I’ve basically come through the ranks, and 2024 will be my first chance to compete with all the biggest names in the sport. I’m confident that we’ll be able to take the fight to the competition from the get-go.”

Toyota’s lineup is completed by 37-year-old Guy Botterill, who has been rewarded for his impressive record in South African rallying competition with his first Dakar start.


“To me, taking part in my first Dakar Rally is a life-long dream that has come true,” said Botterill. “I’m a fairly new rally-raid convert, having come from the world of rallying.

“Even so, I feel confident with the car as I’ve been racing it all year in the SARRC. Now, it is time to step up to the biggest race of them all.”

With the final pieces of his team’s Dakar puzzle now in-place, team principal Alain Dujardyn is hopeful of a third successive overall victory, despite the departure of the driver who delivered those wins: Nasser Al-Attiyah.

“We stand at the start of a new chapter,” declared Dujardyn. “Our GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U, which promises to raise the bar yet again. Not only that, but we are fortunate to have one of the most competitive driver line-ups in the bivouac, and we simply cannot wait to go racing again.”

“We are excited about the future and look forward to 2024 as our new crews grow into their roles as TGR works drivers.

“At the same time, we are counting on the experience of Giniel and Dennis, as well as all our technical staff, to guide and nurture our new talents into the future.”

The squad’s new GR DKR Hilux EVO T1U is 100mm wider than its predecessor, and also features upgraded suspension and cooling systems.

In parallel with Toyota’s fresh World Rally Championship livery for its GR Yaris, the new Hilux was also presented in a striking black paint scheme.