Dakar

Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body eyes 10th straight T2 win at Dakar

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Credit: Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body

While the T2 class is typically overshadowed by its other four-wheel counterparts in T1, Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body has dominated T2 at the Dakar Rally by winning it every year since 2014. For 2023, they will try for a decade’s sweep.

The team unveiled the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport at Sanage Adventure Field in Toyota City on Monday. Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd. president Keiji Masui stressed the importance of using the Dakar Rally to build a “a car that can go anywhere and come back alive.”

Akira Miura will return as primary driver after he won T2 in 2018, 2021, and 2022. Miura joined Toyota Auto Body in 2005 before becoming a mechanic for the Dakar team in 2007 and elevating to driver in 2016. He has represented the team in various events including the Silk Way Rally in Russia, the Mint 400 and Vegas to Reno in the United States, and the Rallye du Maroc in Morocco. The lattermost event, a leg of the World Rally-Raid Championship like Dakar, was claimed by Miura in October.

Miura and co-driver Laurent Lichtleuchter have worked together for eight years and assisted in developing the Land Cruiser 300.

French touring car champion Ronald Basso will once again serve as Miura’s team-mate. He made his Dakar début in 2009 alongside father Jean-Claude Basso, and later raced an SSV with Julien Ménard before being hired by Toyota in 2021 to replace three-time T2 winner Christian Lavieille. Jean-Michel Polato will work as his team-mate.

Yuji Kadoya continues as team manager, a position he has served since 2015. Nineteen crew members will service the two Land Cruisers.

The 2023 Dakar Rally begins on 31 December 2022.

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