Motoring News

Toyota SA team takes Stage 1 of 2019 Dakar desert race

  • 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
NASER AL ATTIYAH: He and co-driver Mathieu Baumel won the first stage of the 2019 Dakar Rally. Image:L Toyota SA
NASSER AL ATTIYAH: He and co-driver Mathieu Baumel won the first stage of the 2019 Dakar Rally. Image: Toyota SA

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.”

2019 DAKAR RACE MAP: The whole event will be run in Peru.
2019 DAKAR RACE MAP: The whole event will be run in Peru. The Monday stage covered 340km (plus 212km liaison) from Pisco to San Juan Marcona with a South African entry first off the line – and over the finish.

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”

TOYOTA DOMINATE 2019 DAKAR FIRST STAGE: Three SA-built Toyota Hilux bakkies are in the race. This one is being driven by Giniel de Villiers Image: Toyota SA
TOYOTA DOMINATE 2019 DAKAR FIRST STAGE: Three SA-built Toyota Hilux bakkies are in the race. This one is being driven by Giniel de Villiers Image: Toyota SA

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.

READ MORE Dakar features on Carman’s Corner

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.

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

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