Toyota Dakar boss Hall: We have to trust FIA on engine rule changes

The FIA introduced modified engine rules which will reduce the power output of the top-class cars


Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal Glyn Hall says his team will ‘have to trust the FIA’ around the new-for-2023 engine regulation changes for the Dakar Rally which starts this month.

Speaking at the official pre-Dakar launch in Walvis Bay, Namibia following the completion of the team’s longest-ever test, Hall said the new engine regulations will help close the field up but that a true indication of the effectiveness might not be seen until the fourth day.

The FIA introduced modified engine rules which will reduce the power output of the top-class cars (T1+ and T1U) by 30kW, while Toyota’s rival Audi will also gain 100kg of additional weight compared to T1+ cars.

“We have to trust the FIA, there’s a lot of clever people there and we’ve done a lot of research this year alongside the FIA, doing various acceleration tests and a lot of meetings discussing the different parameters and how the engines work,” explained Hall.

“So, we will only truly find out on day three or day four of the Dakar to see how close the regulations are.

“The idea of reducing the power of the two top classes, the T1+ and the T1U, by 30kW which is a substantial amount of power is to close the whole field up.

“So, there will be some cars competing in the field in different classes that will have higher top speed and better acceleration than us perhaps and we will have to wait and see how that all works out.

“But certainly, the FIA have put a lot of effort into it, we trust them, and we’ll have to see to what happens after day three or four at the Dakar and where we are after that.”

Toyota unveiled its upgraded GR Hilux DKR T1+ – with which Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel drove to the inaugural World Rally-Raid Championship and the 2022 Dakar Rally titles in January – on Monday after a significant test in Namibia.

In line with the homologation of T1+ cars, the GR Hilux DKR retains the same initial philosophy but has undergone development in “every single area” according to Hall.


“The basic DNA of the car has stayed the same, we’ve just made refinements in every area of the car,” said Hall.

“One of the big changes for 2023 is the change in power output as stipulated by the FIA, so T1+ will lose 30 kW so we’ve been really focusing on the engine to ensure we have every fraction of Newton meter out of the engine for the drivers.

“Then as far as the chassis, I won’t go through every problem we have had with that, we’ve addressed every single issue we’ve had so the drivers will be able to drive the car as hard as they want for every single kilometer of the Dakar.

“We got the basic design of the car really well-done last year and the team did an incredible job, so this year has been about doing many hundreds of kilometers in refinements.”

The 2023 Dakar Rally is the fourth edition to be held in Saudi Arabia and begins with the prologue on December 31, 2022.

Toyota will field three cars for the 2023 Dakar Rally, which begins on December 31, 2022, downscaling from the four it ran on the previous three rallies.

Al-Attiyah and Baumel will again lead the team, with 2009 event winner and recently crowned South African Cross-Country Rally champion Giniel de Villiers alongside navigator Dennis Murphy once more.

The experienced pair will be joined by Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings, who took two stage wins on the 2022 Dakar in Saudi Arabia.