Organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), and the Emirates Motorsports Organization (EMSO) the 33rd Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is taking place in Al Dhafra Region until 2 March 2024, gathering leading motorsport race drivers, while supporting Abu Dhabi’s efforts to host key international sporting competitions.

More than 150 competitors will take part in the challenge, which will take place in Al Dhafra Region, including Tobias Ebster, who competed in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in 2023 and won the Road to Dakar title, before finishing 20th overall in the first round of the W2RC 2024.

Further competition in the Ultimate category (ex-T1) from Overdrive comes from 2008 Desert Challenge winner Guerlain Chicherit, plus emerging Belgian racer, Guillaume de Mevius. 2018 Desert Challenge winner Martin Prokop in the Ford Raptor finished in second place overall in 2022 and 2023 and will be returning for the challenge. The Brazilian Baumgart brothers, driving an X Rally Team supported Prodrive Hunter, are also expected to feature amongst the leading contenders this year, while Aliyyah Koloc from team Buggyra will also take part in the challenge.

Following last year’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge to win the Challenger category and finish third in the overall classification, Seth Quintero has now moved up to a drive in the Ultimate category for Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR), the official Toyota team, where he is joined by Brazilian Lucas Moraes, Saood Variawa and Guy Botterill from South Africa.

Jacques Brent, Managing Director – Toyota and Lexus at Al-Futtaim Automotive, said: “Off-roading is part of our DNA, truly an integral part of Toyota’s culture and an inseparable part of our history in the UAE. Needless to say, Al-Futtaim Toyota and Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge are the perfect fit, and we take great pride in supporting this popular and hugely demanding competition. Moreover, fielding so many Toyota entries builds on our motorsport credentials, as well as providing our fanbase and the UAE’s motoring community real thrills in one of the most dramatic landscapes. Al Futtaim Toyota continues to develop Motorsport in the region.

Evidently through the Gazoo Racing UAE Motorsport Academy, which is in its second season starting from April and we are seeing overwhelming interest from the country. This is after a successful season one, which was focusing on rally racing. We are happy to provide our fleet of vehicles and expertise, and, as Official Automotive Partner, we are always ready to back EMSO in every way we can in its mission to continue developing motorsports in the UAE.” Khalid Bin Sulayem, President of EMSO, said: “Al-Futtaim Toyota’s extensive experience of the rallying world, combined with the EMSO’s knowledge of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and off-road racing in the UAE, once again come together to make the perfect formula for an exciting event in just a few days’ time. Our strong relationship with Al-Futtaim Toyota continues to evolve and progress in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, and we are delighted to be able to continue this crucial logistical and strategic partnership.”