SA Toyotas still up front after gruelling Dakar Stage 10

  • Second on Stage 10 for De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz
  • Fifth on Stage 10 for Ten Brinke/Périn
  • Suspension hit costs Al Attiyah/Baumel 29min
BLUE-SKY RACING: One of the South African Toyota entries crests yet another dune. Image: Toyota SA
BLUE-SKY RACING: One of the Dakar 2018 South African Toyota entries crests yet another dune. Image: Toyota SA / Motorpress

BELEN, Argentina – Tuesday, Day 10 of the 2018 Dakar Rally, was a day of mixed results for Toyota Gazoo Racing over 373km of racing, split into two sections, after a 424km liaison.

Happily for the non-turbo South African Toyotas it was a return to lower altitudes but also a return to the soft sand and camel grass synonymous with Belen, where the stage ended.

It was a very good day for Giniel de Villiers / Dirk von Zitzewitz who started eighth on the road. Despite De Villiers having an upset stomach they powered through to post the second-fastest time of the day, 8min47 behind Peugeot stage-winner Stephane Peterhansel.

BLUE-SKY RACING: One of the South African Toyota entries crests yet another dune. Image: Toyota SA
BLUE-SKY RACING: One of the South African Toyota entries crests yet another dune. Image: Toyota SA / Motorpress

“It was really tough out there,” De Villiers reported from the Belen bivouac. “The dunes are extremely tricky, the camel grass makes it even worse. It is also extremely tough on the human body so we’re glad to have made it safely to Belen.”

BAD DAY FOR NASSER

Things didn’t go quite as smoothly for Dutch driver Bernhard ten Brinke / Michel Périn. They initially lost time stuck on a dune then lost even more time with a river-bed puncture.

Even so, they were fifth-fastest on the stage.

Ten Brinke’s day report: “Belen is never an easy stage – today was no exception. The navigation was also tricky but Michel did a perfect job. We lost some time to the Peugeots but at this stage of the game we’re happy to be still in touch with the podium.”

The stage was one to forget for Nasser Al-Attiytah / Baume… they started strong and were only minutes behind Peterhansel for most of the stage. Things started to go wrong on the second stage…

LIMP HOME COSTS A RACE PLACE

The Qatari driver reported: “We were going at a good pace when the left rear suspension partly collapsed. The technical crew found we had hit a rock.”

The limp home cost the pair nearly 30 minutes on the day, costing them a place in the general ranking so Carlos Sainz still leads the rally for Peugeot with team mate Peterhansel second.

READ MORE Dakar features on Carman’s Corner

Al-Attiyah is now third, Bernhard ten Brinke fourth but only 33sec ahead of South African team mate De Villiers.

Gazoo team principal Glyn Hall debriefed thus: “We’ve every reason to be happy with the new Toyota Hilux. The bakkie has been rock-solid but some tough dunes and tricky navigation cost us time.

”All we can do now is keep pushing for the next four days.”

WEDNESDAY’S STAGE…

…will cover Stage 11, one of the Dakar’s most feared. It stretches from Belen to Chilecito over the Fiambalá dunes, scene of many upsets in previous Dakars, for 280km of racing and 467km of liaison.

Hall warned: “To make things even more interesting, Stage 11 is run as the Super Fiambalá, which sees the top 10 crews start together. If nothing else, it’s sure to be exciting viewing.”

The 2018 Dakar Rally is celebrating its 40th anniversary. So far the event has covered 6058km over 10 stages across three South American countries.

It will finish in Cordoba, Argentina, on Saturday January 20.

STAGE 10­­ RESULTS

1 S Peterhansel (Peugeot) 4hr43min46
2 G De Villiers (Toyota) – +08min46
3 C Sainz (Peugeot) +13min07
4 S Al Qassimi (Buggy) +19min11
5 B Ten Brinke (Toyota) +22min22
9 N Al-Attiyah (Toyota) +29min16

OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 10:

1 C Sainz (Peugeot) 32hr10min53
2 S Peterhansel (Peugeot) +50min35
3 N Al-Attiyah (Toyota) +1hr12min46
4 B Ten Brinke (Toyota) +1hr22min15
5 G de Villiers (Toyota) +1hr22min48

 

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