Punctures hamper progress for TGR’s Nasser and Mathieu
- Four punctures during Stage 2
- Significant time loss for Nasser and Mathieu
- Focus shifts to stage victories in aid of W2RC title
A tough day at the 2022 Rally of Morocco, Round 3 of the inaugural World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC) saw TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel tumble down the order, after the pair suffered four punctures on their GR DKR Hilux T1+. This exceeded the two spare wheels carried in the car, and they were forced to wait for assistance from fellow competitors on two occasions. As a result, the plummeted from second place in the overall standings after Stage 1, to 7th overall with three stages remaining.
Stage 2 saw the crews traverse varied terrain between the bivouac at Tan Tan and the town of Laayoune. Many small dunes, punctuated by rocky traverses, played havoc with the tyres on many of the FIA’s Class T1+ cars. Nasser and Mathieu were arguably the hardest hit, and the pair surrendered 53min 58sec to the stage winners as a result.
Despite this, they continued to push their own limits as well as that of the Dakar-winning Toyota Hilux, to finish the stage. The TGR crew will now attempt to win as many stages as possible over the remaining three days, as each stage victory counts towards the overall W2RC points. They started the event just a single point behind the championship leader, and were hoping to leapfrog into the lead. Today’s results may well have put paid to those hopes, but the TGR pairing will continue to push to the end of the race.
Three more stages remain in the 2022 Rally of Morocco, with Stage 3 taking the crews from the bivouac at Laayoune in a looped stage, finishing in the same location. The stage has a timed section of 324 km, with liaisons of 18 km adding to the total distance for the day.
The 2022 Rally of Morocco is scheduled to finish on October 6th, in the coastal city of Agadir, where the action began with a prologue on October 1st, 2022. This is the penultimate round of the 2022 W2RC, with only Rally Andalusia to come in the middle of October.
Glyn Hall, Team Principal:
“A frustrating day at the Rally of Morocco for Nasser and Mathieu. Our GR DKR Hilux T1+ ran well, and were it not for four punctures on the stage, the result would have been very different. But racing is filled with moments that change the course of the race, and today’s series of punctures unfortunately put us out of contention for victory. Even so, Nasser and Mathieu will now focus on the championship, and will be aiming to win as many of the remaining stages as possible.”
“It was very disappointing to suffer so many punctures today. We were forced to wait for another competitor to assist us, as we ran out of spares. The terrain made it really difficult to find any kind of rhythm, and today we lost out on what should have been an easy stage win. Even so, we fight on tomorrow.”
“Rally-raid racing is an unforgiving sport. When it goes well, everything seems easy. But then, like today, we are let down by one puncture after the other, and suddenly it isn’t so easy anymore. Now, our focus will shift to the W2RC championship, and winning as many stages as we can in order to keep scoring points.”
STAGE 2 RESULTS:
1. S. Loeb (FRA) / F. Lurquin (BEL) Bahrain Raid Extreme Hunter 2:56:54
2. O. Terranova (ARG) / A. Haro Bravo (ESP) Bahrain Raid Extreme Hunter +10min 15sec
3. G. Chicherit (FRA) / A. Winoq (FRA) GCK Motorsport Hunter +18min 8sec
4. E. Van Loon (NLD) / S. Delaunay (FRA) Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux +24min 23sec
5. JC. Yacopini (ARG) / D. Carreras (ESP) Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux +24min 41sec
26. N. Al-Attiya (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing TGR DKR Hilux T1+ +53min 58sec
CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 2:
1. 1. S. Loeb (FRA)/ F. Lurquin (BEL) Bahrain Raid Extreme Hunter 6:57:20
2 2. O. Terranova (ARG) / A. Haro Bravo (ESP) Bahrain Raid Extreme Hunter +8sec
3. 3. G. Chicherit (FRA) / A. Winoq (FRA) GCK Motorsport Hunter +4min 20sec
4. 4. Y. Al Rajhi (SAU) / D. Von Zitzewitz (DEU) Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux +9min 37sec
5. 5. JC. Yacopini (ARG) / D. Carreras (ESP) Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux +25min 11sec
7. 7. N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing TGR DKR Hilux T1+ +33min 18sec