NASSER AL ATTIYAHDakar
The world of cross-country racing has been dominated by Al Attiyah for the last four years, as the Qatari star won the FIA’s Cross-Country World Cup in 2015, 2016 and 2017 – the last two behind the wheel of a South African Toyota Hilux. He has won the Dakar Rally three times, most recently in 2019 (Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa), and has also competed in the World Rally Championship, Complete World Touring Car Championship and a multitude of other global race series. The affable racer is also an accomplished Skeet Shooter, and won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games. He won the Rally of Morocco for a record fifth consecutive time in 2018.
French navigator Mathieu Baumel has partnered with Al Attiyah on many occasions, and have notched up three FIA Cross-Country World Cup titles with the Qatari superstar. Baumel, who hails from Manosque in France’s Luberon region, specializes in cross-country racing as well as rallying, and recorded his first title in the Dakar Challenge of 2005. Since then, the approachable Frenchman has notched up six championships in a variety of disciplines, including the 2015 and 2019 Dakar Rallies, WRC2 class of the World Rally Championship and the FIA World Cup.
GINIEL DE VILLIERSDakar
De Villiers has become a household name in many parts of the world, thanks mainly to his victory in the 2009 Dakar Rally. However, the quiet Stellenbosch racer has also notched up numerous championships in a wide variety of racing disciplines, including the 2017 and 2018 South African Cross-Country Series titles. De Villiers has raced in 15 Dakars to date, and only finished outside the Top Ten on one occasion (2007, due to an engine fire). He has recorded eight podium finishes on the Dakar Rally, five of those behind the wheel of a South African Toyota Hilux. He has also won the Rally of Morocco four times, most recently in 2019.
Alex Haro is firmly entrenched as one of the top cross-country navigators in the world. The diminutive Spaniard has racked up numerous accolades in the sport, most notably a second place finish at Dakar 2019, alongside Nani Roma in an X-Raid MINI. He teamed up with Giniel de Villiers later in 2019, making the switch from MINI to Toyota Gazoo Racing SA. The pair’s first international outing together was the 2019 Rally of Morocco, which they won.
BERNHARD TEN BRINKEDakar
Sports fanatic Bernhard ten Brinke hails from the Dutch town of Zeddam, where he was born on 6 September 1977. The experienced businessman owned an established kitchen company in the Netherlands, but his true passion lies with sport – and more specifically, motorsport. Ten Brinke has been racing since 2004, cutting his teeth on the Renault Clio Sport Cup circuit, before adding rallying to his experience in 2009. He made his Dakar debut in 2012, finishing in a highly credible eighth place, with navigator Mathieu Baumel beside him. In 2014 Ten Brinke joined Overdrive Racing, and significantly expanded his cross-country racing experience the following year. He finished Dakar 2015 in seventh overall, suffered a DNF in 2016 and focused on his rallying in 2017, missing out on the Dakar Rally as a result. He suffered another DNF in Dakar 2018, but recorded an epic stage win at Fiambala, and was on course for a podium finish until the penultimate stage of the rally.
Belgian navigator Tom Colsoul is synonymous with the world of cross-country racing. He triumphed in the Dakar Rally of 2012, alongside Dutch truck racing legend Gerard de Rooy, in an Iveco. He also claimed the 2018 World Cup for Cross Country Rally navigator’s title, navigating for MINI’s Jakub Przygonski; and has navigated for a number of the top rally-raid drivers in the world. He recently reunited with Ten Brinke, and the pair took on the Rally of Morocco in 2019 together. Their results belied an excellent performance, hampered only by an altercation with an unmarked ditch, which took them out of contention for victory.
Fernando Alonso needs no introduction. He is a two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner, reigning FIA World Endurance Championship title holder with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, two-time Formula 1 World Champion, and winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona. The Spaniard joined TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in 2019, and competed in a number of South African and International events with the team. He finished in the Top 10 at the 2019 Rally of Morocco; and recorded a podium finish at the Al Ula-Neom Rally in Saudi Arabia later the same year. He announced his participation in the 2020 Dakar Rally as part of his ambition to try different motorsport disciplines and become an even more complete racing driver.
Marc Coma is another Spanish motorsport legend, who boasts six FIM Cross-Country World Championships and five Dakar Rally victories. He also served as the Race Director of the Dakar Rally during 2015-2018, but signed on with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing as navigator for Alonso during 2019. His vast experience of the Dakar Rally is sure to be of great value to the team, and specifically to Alonso, who will be relying on his countryman for direction and wisdom during the race. Coma has raced in 12 Dakar Rallies, recording five wins and two second place finishes.
GLYN HALLTeam principal
Glyn Hall’s motorsport career started in the United Kingdom after he joined Chrysler UK as a student apprentice in 1975. He progressed through many departments in the company during his training, but it was the...
Glyn Hall’s motorsport career started in the United Kingdom after he joined Chrysler UK as a student apprentice in 1975. He progressed through many departments in the company during his training, but it was the competitions department that captured his imagination the most. He joined the competitions department on completion of his training and enjoyed what he describes as “three great years”. This period enabled him to meet many influential people in his life such as Tony Pond, Henri Toivonen and Jean Todt, to name but a few, as well as to be involved in the prototype Lotus Sunbeam rally car. Hall blossomed in South Africa, a country the quiet Briton adopted in 1980 when he came here as a 22-year-old to work for Geoff Mortimer Motorsport. Tony Pond was driving for Mortimer at the time, in addition to his European commitments. Today, Hall can look back on a distinguished contribution to the history of motorsport in South Africa and a career full of achievements, which have placed him at the very forefront of motorsport management in this country. His achievements have been recognised by the Guild of Motoring Journalists (in 1999, 2007 and 2012) with the Colin Watling Award for outstanding contribution to motorsport by a non-competitor. In 2012, four Toyota Hilux pickups designed and built by Hallspeed made history when they competed for the first time in the Dakar. Two were entered by the Imperial Toyota South Africa Team supported by Duxbury Netgear and the Innovation Group and crewed by 2009 Dakar winners Giniel de Villiers and German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz as well as Duncan Vos and Rob Howie. One was in the hands of Argentine privateer Lucio Alvarez and the other was run by top Belgian Dakar team Overdrive for Argentine. Since their first foray in the Dakar Rally, Hall’s team has evolved into Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa, and recently to TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, forming part of the Toyota Motor Corporation’s international racing division. The crowning glory for the team came in 2019, when Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel won the Dakar Rally, behind the wheel of a South African-built Toyota Hilux.