4x4, Bakkies, motorsport, off-road racing, toyota

SA Toyota Hilux crew dominating Mongolia rally

TOYOTA IN ACTION: Plains and hill, tracks and gravel. Image: Supplied
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia – Toyota Gazoo Racing SA’s Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel have taken first place from Stage 4 of the 10-stage event in their SA-assembled Hilux bakkie – their fourth stage win – which put them 27 minutes ahead of the pack.
The route was a loop of 470km, starting and finishing near the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar after a mix of gravel, sand tracks and open rock.
Al Attiyah said at the stage end: “We opened the road again today but quickly fell into a steady rhythm – that;s critical on a long stage such as this was so we recorded a perfectly clear run despite some tricky spots.”

The pair set a time of 3hr54min16sec to beat Toyota Hilux driver Erik van Loon (Netherlands) and navigator Sebastien Delaunay (France) by 4min13s. It was the Hollander’s first clean run since Stage 2 which saw the crew tumble down the order.

They remain out of contention, despite their good result on Stage 4, but will continue to push for good stage times.

To come was Stage 5 through open plains, hills, and track,s to cover 337km at the mid-point of the race. Stage 6 will be the final racing stage completely in Mongolia before the rally crosses the Chinese border for the final stages.

The race will finish in the Chinese city of Dunhuang on July 16, after more than 5000km, 10 stages and three countries.

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