Team Land Cruiser Auto Body Secures One-Two Finish in the Production Car category at 2024 Dakar Rally

28 Feb 2024

Victory marks the Team’s 11th consecutive win in the Production Car category

Team Land Cruiser Auto Body (TLC) has secured their 11th consecutive Production Car category victory at the 2024 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. These unprecedented results are thanks to the performance of Akira Miura and co-driver Mayeul Barbet, who took first place in their No. 500 Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport, with Ronald Basso and Jean-Michel Polato taking second in the No. 501 Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport.

The Dakar Rally, unfolding over Saudi Arabia for the fifth time, covered 7,891km from AlUla to Yanbu along the Red Sea Coast. The route included 4,727km of timed specials, guiding 778 competitors through the diverse landscapes of Saudi Arabia. The 2024 edition introduced a new stage, the "48H CHRONO STAGE," pushing participants' endurance to the limit across two consecutive days of driving to finish the stage.

The rally’s final stage was held on a challenging 174 km loop course in Yanbu, marking the conclusion of the 15-day event. The stage, characterized by sandy terrain and hidden obstacles, demanded careful driving.

Akio Toyoda, TGR Chairman, also known as Morizo, commented: “To everyone at Team Land Cruiser Auto Body, congratulations on winning the Production Car category for the 11th consecutive year! I think car No. 500 achieved victory thanks to three people: driver Akira Miura alongside two navigators, Mayuel Barbe and the late Laurent Lichtleuchter, who was always watching over them. I'm really happy that car No. 500 was able to cross the finish line with the best result. Thank you for your continued support in "making-ever better Land Cruisers"!”

The Land Cruiser 300, which marked its debut participation in Dakar Rally in last year's edition with high driving performance and a one-two finish, managed to overcome previous speed-related challenges this time around with improvements in the engine air intake system, rear suspension, and enhanced tires. This allowed TLC to reaffirm its dominance in the Production Car category and add another chapter to its illustrious legacy.

This edition of the Dakar Rally also saw Toyota take part in the Dakar Future Program’s Mission 1000. This initiative encourages automakers to develop hydrogen engines, electric or biofuel hybrids, and other cutting-edge carbon-neutral powertrain technologies. 10 vehicles were selected to traverse a 1000 km section that allowed participants to pinpoint areas for further technical development. It also provided a unique opportunity for Toyota to put its hydrogen engine-powered HySE-X1 to the test.

The vehicle was developed by the Hydrogen Small mobility & Engine technology (HySE) research association, a collaborative effort between Toyota and four other Japanese automotive and motorcycle manufacturers. It is based on a chassis by Belgian partner Overdrive Racing, with a modified layout to accommodate a hydrogen fuel tank and fuel supply system. Its participation in Dakar Rally furthers Toyota’s carbon-neutrality efforts and promotes global awareness around the potential of compact hydrogen mobility.

Over the years, Toyota has been participating in many different forms of motorsports, including Formula One, the World Endurance Championship (WEC), and the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race. Toyota’s participation in these events was overseen by separate entities within the company until April 2015, when Toyota established TGR, to consolidate all of its motorsports activities under one in-house brand. Representing Toyota’s belief that ‘the roads build the people, and the people build the cars,’ TGR highlights the role of motorsports as a fundamental pillar of Toyota’s commitment to making ‘ever-better’ cars. Harnessing years of experience gained under the extreme conditions of various motorsports events, TGR aims to forge new technologies and solutions that bring the freedom, adventure, and joy of driving to everyone.

Race Notes

Production Cars Category

  • No. 500 Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport (Akira Miura and Mayeul Barbet)
    • Position: 1st
  • No. 501 Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport (Ronald Basso and Jean-Michel Polato)
    • Position: 2nd