Hat-trick of stage wins for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing at Dakar 2021
- Stage 4 of Dakar 2021 brought a third consecutive stage win for Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel after they beat their closest competitor by 11sec over the 337-kilometre timed section between Wadi Ad-Dawasir and the Saudi capital Riyadh. The pair, currently second in the overall standings, reduced their gap to the overall lead to under five minutes despite their position as the pathfinder at the head of the field.
- Dakar rookie Henk Lategan, and navigator Brett Cummings, pushed team mate Nasser throughout the day, even beating the Qatari through some waypoints. Henk showed maturity and skill to finish third on the stage, trailing Nasser by just 1min 30sec and moving up into fourth place in the overall standings.
- Dakar veteran Giniel de Villiers and navigator Alex Haro initially looked on course for a solid result on Stage 4 but Giniel suffered from neck pains and had to reduce speed in the rough sections. They also lost time towards the end of the stage due to a navigational error to finish 15th. The pair will look to improve their position over tomorrow’s 456-kilometre Stage 5 from Riyadh to Al Qaisumah.
- Shameer Variawa and navigator Dennis Murphy recorded a solid performance on Stage 4 despite starting down the order, and in the dust of trucks and slower competitors. The pair lost some time due to a navigational error near the end of the stage to improve to 43rd in the overall standings.
Glyn Hall, Team Principal: “Another fantastic result for us today with Nasser and Mathieu winning their third stage on the trot. To make it even more impressive, two of those wins came while opening the road, which is no small feat. They’ve really shown why they are rated as one of the top crews in the world and we hope for more of the same from them in the coming days. Henk and Brett again came through with a strong result and were leading the stage overall through some of the waypoints in the middle of the stage. Were it not for a tyre that delaminated near the end, they may well have finished in second place again.”
Nasser Al-Attiyah (No. 301): “I’m very happy to win today’s stage. Winning three of the first four stages is amazing, and to win while opening the road is quite a big thing. We tried to control our pace but it’s tricky to gauge our performance while we are in the stage. If we start further down the order, we’d be able to take more time from our competitors, but for now we’re very happy to be where we are. The Toyota Hilux is working really well, and we’re looking forward to the upcoming stages.”
Giniel de Villiers (No. 304): “I got up this morning with a sore and stiff neck, and it became progressively worse as the stage wore on. I took some pain medication during one of the speed-control zones but it didn’t help much. I was forced to reduce speed in the rough sections and tight corners, but I’m hoping it will get better overnight.”
Henk Lategan (No. 332): “We’re learning quickly, but it’s still not easy. We’re still getting to grips with the navigation but Brett’s doing an excellent job, and we’re communicating much more in the car now to find the best way to get through the stage. Today’s stage was a little bit easier, not quite as rough and hard on the body. But, it’s important not to get comfortable with so many days of racing left. This is a massive race and the next few days are going to be tough ones, especially in two days’ time when we have a really long stage coming up. We needs to keep our focus and stay calm, so we can carry on to the end.”
Shameer Variawa (No. 330): “Today was a better day for us. We had no punctures and only made one small navigational mistake. Other than that, we were only held back by the dust of the slower competitors around us due to our starting position that was down the order, after the trouble we experienced earlier in the race. Now, we’re focusing on the next few stages to the rest day.”
2021 Dakar Rally Stage 4 Results:
1st No. 301 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, 2hr 35min 59sec
3rd No. 332 Henk Lategan/Brett Cummings, +1min 30sec
15th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +14min 57sec
32nd No. 330 Shameer Variawa/Dennis Murphy, +28min 26sec
2021 Dakar Rally Overall Results After Stage 4:
2nd No. 301 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +3min 58sec
4th No. 332 Henk Lategan/Brett Cummings, +47min 44sec
22nd No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +1hr 59min 51sec
43rd No. 330 Shameer Variawa/Dennis Murphy, +5hr 1min 28sec
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