NEOM, SAUDI ARABIA – South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers and Spanish co-driver Alex Haro have won the 367km Stage 2 of Dakar 2020 between Al Wajh and Neom despite starting 14th to bring their Toyota Hilux home in the fastest time of the day.
They beat Mini’s Orlando Terranova by 3min57 to move up to sixth overall, 12min 04 behind the leaders, and De Villiers told The Corner through a media release: “Sometimes you have a bad day on the Dakar, like we had yesterday – and other days you have good ones/
“Today was a good day – we’re happy to be back on track.”
De Villiers completed the stage without any punctures – which devastated the team on Day 1 – but team mates defending champions Nasser Al-Attiyah and Matthieu Baumel had two but still finished fifth-fastest. as the 5th-fastest car on the stage.
Toyota’s Hollander Bernhard ten Brinke and Belgian co-driver Tom Colsoul, however, had four punctures – the last 20km from the finish. They were fortunate to have had De Villiers behind them – he passed over one of his spares.
Ten Brinke lost 26min 05 on Stage 2 to fimish 15th-best time of the day. They are now 21min 23 adrift in the general classification, in 10th place.
New-to-the-Dakar Fernando Alonso and partner Marc Coma started the day on a high with competitive times early in the stage but lost their left front wheel when hitting a rock and lost to repairs.
Stage 2 set them back by two-and-a-half hours and are now 48th in the overall standings.
Stage 3 today will be a loop starting and ending on the outskirts of the future megacity of Neom, on the Red Sea coast: 414km of sand with large rock outcrops and mountains along the route.
From there the 2020 Dakar will move inland towards the nation’s capital, Riyadh, for a rest day. Week 2 will take be run through the Empty Quarter before the race concludes on January 17 in Riyadh.
Stage 2 results – Toyota Gazoo Racing
1 De Villiers / Haro 03:37:20
5 Al-Attiyah / Baumel +11:46
15 Ten Brinke / Colsoul +26:05
63 Alonso / Coma +02:34:38
Overall standings after Stage 2 – Toyota Gazoo Racing
3 Al-Attiyah / Baumel +06:07
6 De Villiers / Haro +12:04
10 Ten Brinker / Colsoul +21:23
48 Alonso / Coma +02:38:53