The Toyota Hilux DKR T1+ developed by Hallspeed is perhaps the top rally raid vehicle today, having won back-to-back Dakar Rallies and the 2022 World Rally-Raid Championship with Nasser Al-Attiyah. However, T1+ cars are also expensive and entries therefore typically come from teams with factory support such as Al-Attiyah’s Toyota Gazoo Racing and Overdrive Racing.
On Wednesday, TreasuryONE Motorsport and WCT Engineering revealed a new version of the Hilux T1+ that is intended to be more affordable and easier to grasp for privateers. Hennie de Klerk and co-driver Adriaan Roets will début the vehicle during the 2023 TIORC Inland Off Road Championship in South Africa before taking it to the 2024 Dakar Rally.
While the WCT/TreasuryONE Hilux shares much of the same anatomy as its Hallspeed counterpart, it is built to be more durable so that less extensive maintenance is required. This increased rudimentary nature also makes it easier for privateers, who would have less expertise than professional factory teams, to make repairs and necessary adjustments during races.
The WCT Hilux operates on a V8 engine versus the Hallspeed’s turbocharged V6, which is faster than the standard V8 but WCT Engineering director Stuart Thompson noted is “more complex and difficult to tune and run for a privateer.” WCT’s model also uses twin damper suspensions, which are more reliable than the single damper system of the Hallspeed truck.
“The rest of our Hilux is much the same as the Hallspeed car, albeit a fairly major development of our existing T1 small wheel car,” continued Thompson. “We hope that the WCT Hilux T1+ will prove reliable and relatively easy for a small team to run.”
De Klerk was the highest finishing rookie at the 2018 Dakar Rally, while his most recent attempt came in 2020.
“The first WCT Engineering developed Hilux is somewhat different to the Dakar winning machines built just around the corner,” said de Klerk. “Our WCT package was designed from the outset to be the best option for the privateer or gentleman racer.”
Hiluxes occupied four of the top five T1 overall at the Dakar Rally in January with Al-Attiyah winning three stages and Yazeed Al-Rajhi claiming a fourth. Lucas Moraes scored a podium in his first Dakar by finishing third, the best such run for a newcomer since 1988.