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Date: 09 Oct 2019 Author Type: Press Release
Author: Toyota Gazoo Racing
Source: Toyota Gazoo Racing
FES, MOROCCO – Toyota Gazoo Racing SA is all set for the upcoming Rally of Morocco, which gets underway in the city of Fes on October 5th, 2019. The race is often considered a precursor for the Dakar Rally, and as such plays a pivotal role in the team’s preparation for the world’s toughest automotive race. The team also completed a four-day test session leading up to the race, in order to further refine the Dakar-winning Toyota Hilux.

Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah, partnered by Frenchman Mathieu Baumel will be aiming to defend their Rally of Morocco crown for the fifth time, while Giniel de Villiers and new co-driver Alex Haro are hoping to cement their in-car relationship, and also validate some of the recent changes to the Toyota Hilux. Finally, Dutch driver Bernhard ten Brinke, who is now partnered with Belgian Tom Colsoul, will be completing the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA line-up.

To add to the excitement, the Rally of Morocco also serves as the final round of the 2019 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, which Al Attiyah/Baumel currently lead. The pair are 9 points ahead of MINI’s Stephane Peterhansel and wife Andrea, who are realistically the only crew that still has a chance of catching the Qatari and French pairing.

“We had an excellent testing and training session here in Morocco,” said Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall, after the team completed their pre-race sessions. “Giniel has been running a comprehensive damper test, and we believe we’ve now fine-tuned the suspension to the next level.”

At the same time Al Attiyah/Baumel and Ten Brinke/Colsoul used the opportunity to finalize their setups for the race, and to get reacquainted with the Moroccan terrain.

The team was also joined at the test by Fernando Alonso and Marc Coma of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. They completed 1,400 km of training, as part of their continued quest to prepare for a possible entry to Dakar 2020, and will also be competing in the Rally of Morocco.

“With our preparations done, the next step is to complete the technical requirements for the race, which take place on October 4th, and then it is flat out over five treacherous stages of racing,” concluded Hall.

The Rally of Morocco will start and finish in the central city of Fes, with the bulk of the racing stages set 400 km to the south, in the area around Erfoud. The race comprises a race distance of 2,500 km, run over dunes, gravel tracks, and rocky river crossings.