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Alonso, Coma on a roll as Dakar marathon takes its toll

3rd on Stage 10 for De Villiers / Haro
6th on Stage 10 for Ten Brinke / Colsoul
Al Attiyah / Baumel lose time to leaders
Alonso / Coma roll

rolling hilux
DOING IT DOWN THE DUNES: Fernando Alonso rolls down the dunes on Stage 10 of the 2020 Dakar Rally. The windscreen broke and further repairs were needed later – but he raced on. Image: Facebook
baumel dakar 10
DASHING THROUGH THE DUNES: Al Attiyah / Baumel lose time to leaders despite high speed through the Stage 10 dunes. Image: Supplied

HARADH, Saudi Arabia – Stage 10 of the 2020 Dakar Rally brought mixed results for the South African Toyota Gazoo team with Giniel de Villiers and Alex Haro third on Wednesday’s marathon 608km stage.

The racing section was shortened to 230km for safety but the Toyota Hilux crew brought their car to the finish only 4min26 behind stage winner and overall leader Carlos Sainz (Mini).

De Villiers/Haro’s performance was, however, countered by two setbacks for the team. The first was early in the stage: ex-F1 driver Fernando Alonso, with Marc Coma as navigator, rolled their bakkie down a steep dune. They were unhurt but the Hilux has a broken windscreen and bent suspension.

HOUR ON REPAIRS

Team boss Glyn Hall told The Corner in a media release:  “Fernando and Marc spent some time racing without a windscreen at the Lichtenburg 400, part of the South African Cross-Country Series, last year. This experience certainly came in handy today, as they had to complete a long stage without a windscreen again.”

READ MORE Dakar features on Carman’s Corner

The Spanish duo spent almost an hour on repairs before continuing and reached the small overnight bivouac at Shudayah after losing 1hr17min33. As  Stage 10 was the marathon stage they had to repair the car themselves, though fellow competitors were allowed to help.

For the team as a whole, the biggest setback came when Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel lost nearly 18min after struggling to locate a waypoint and going the wrong way for 20km. They caught up some of the time lost but finished 17min46 behind Sainz, putting them 18min10 back in the overall standings with two stages remaining.

‘TRICKY AND DANGEROUS’

Stage 10 also saw Gazoo’s Dutch driver Bernhard ten Brinke and Belgian co-driver Tom Colsoul complete the stage sixth, surrendering 6min40 to the stage winners. Ten Brinke, now seventh overall, said later:

“The stage was tricky and dangerous – over exactly the type of terrain on which the Hilux thrives. The tougher it is, the better the car is,” said Ten Brinke. “We were disappointed to hear that we’d have only 230km to race but at least the car is in one piece.”

GET FULL details of the Dakar Rally day here

Two stages remain, the first a 744km dash from Shubaytah back to Haradh. The stage includes a timed section of 379km, and will start with 80km of tough dunes, changing to faster tracks and rocky crossings. The race will end on Friday January 17 with the final stage to the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

2020 Dakar Rally Stage 10 results:
3rd Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +4min26
6th Bernhard ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul, +6min40
17th Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +17min46
56th Fernando Alonso/Marc Coma, +1hr 17min33

2020 Dakar Rally Overall Results After Stage 10:
2nd Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +18min00
6th Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +1hr2min23
7th Bernhard ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul, +1hr15min39
14th Fernando Alonso/Marc Coma, +4hr34min56

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