Thursday (09) started with great news for motor sport in Brazil. The rally driver Lucas Moraes was announced as the program’s newest elite pilot Toyota Gazoo Racingtargeting the Japanese manufacturer’s main competitions, such as the Dakar.
The pilot is part of the fourth generation of the Ermírio de Moraes family, heir to the Votorantim GroupLucas ‘displaced’ nothing less than Nasser Al-Attiyahfive-time Dakar champion and one of the legends of the off-road rally, as well as prince of Qatar, heir to the Qatari kingdom.
Photo by: Marcin Kin
Moraes stunned the world by achieving a podium in his debut at the Dakar in 2023, considered by many as an illustrious unknown, but in Brazil he has stood out for a long time. The 33-year-old driver is a two-time Rally dos Sertões champion, triumphing for the first time in 2019, being the youngest to achieve the feat.
But not only in the biggest rally on the continent, Moraes gained prominence before reaching his first Dakar and among the sport’s elite.
He also won the Mitsubishi Cup twice and won the Brazilian Cross-Country Rally Championship three times – the same discipline as the Dakar.
Photo by: Marcin Kin
With great results, his move outside Brazil was more than natural. In 2021, Moraes shone in the Baja Portalegre 500, in Portugal, placing third. In 2022, the driver also stood out in Baja Aragón (Spain), also with a third place, behind only Al-Attiyah, and Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Saudi Arabia), 2022 Cross-Country Rally World Champion.
To gain experience in the deserts before the 2023 Dakar, Moraes participated in the last stage of the FI Baja World Cup, in Dubai. There he finished second among the cars, just 1min07s behind Al-Rajhi – his Overdrive teammate, who won his world title on that occasion.
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