- Stage win for Nasser Al Attiyah / Mathieu Baumel
- Two more SA entries in Stage 1 top 10
- First real stage today with 340km of giant dunes
PISCO, Peru – All three South African Toyota Gazoo Hilux entries were in the top 10 – indeed, the 84km first stage was won by Nasser Al Attiyah and navigator Mathieu Baumel – of the 2019 Dakar race on Monday January 7.
For now, however, the strong Mini team is dominant with five cars in the top 10 stage finishers. Al Attiyah/Baumel, however, set the pace to win ahead of 2018 Dakar winner Carlos Sainz (Mini).
A jubilant Glyn Hall, boss of the Gazoo team, told The Corner in a media communication from Pisco: “Nasser and Mathieu did exactly what was required of them. There’s always the temptation to throw caution to the wind but Nasser is an old hand and knows what it takes to win not only stages but the race overall.”
Al Attiyah/Baumel were on point for the Toyota SA crews though its many-times Dakar entrants Giniel de Villiers / Dirk von Zitzewitz were sixth (+2min40).
De Villiers (below) said after the stage: “We decided to go at a good pace, rather than push too hard, on the opening stage. There’s very little time to be made on such a relatively short stage but even a small mistake can put you permanently on the back foot”
The third Toyota crew (Hollander Bernhard ten Brinke / Frenchman Xavier Panseri) had much the same outlook to finish eighth and just over three minutes behind Al Attiyah/Baumel.
Each crew reported flawless performance from their bakkie and positive about the selected suspension adjustments which will apply for the rest of the race.
Stage 2 today (Jan 8) will be raced, after a 212km liaison stage, over 342km of, mostly, huge sand dunes for which not only driving skill and speed, but also excellent navigation, are required.
- Dakar 2019 has 10 stages and a rest day. Stage 2 today will start in the coastal town of Pisco before heading south to San Juan de Marcona. The overall race will finish on Jan 17 in Lima, the capital of Peru,
STAGE 1 RESULT
1 Al Attiyah / Baumel (Toyota)
2 Sainz / Cruz (Mini) +1min59
3 Przygonski / Colsoul (Mini)+2min00
4 Vasilyev / Zhlitsov (Toyota) +2min18
5 Al Rajhi / Gottschalk (Mini) +2min28
6 De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz (Toyota) +2min40
7 Peterhansel / Castera (Mini) +2min57
8 Ten Brinke / Panseri (Toyota) +3min19
9 Hunt / Rosegaar (Peugeot) +3min25
10 Despres / Cottret (Mini) +4min25