Top 8 for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing crews on Dakar stage 6
All four TOYOTA GAZOO Racing crews finished in the Top 8 on Stage 6 at the 2020 Dakar Rally. The foursome was again spearheaded by Nasser Al-Attiyah and navigator Mathieu Baumel who brought their Toyota Hilux home 3min 22sec behind the stage winners in third place overall. The pair lost 1min 30sec following a puncture in the middle of the 477-kilometre stage between the city of Ha’il and the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh.
All eyes were on Dakar rookie Fernando Alonso and his more experienced rally raid campaigner and navigator Marc Coma, however, who delivered their strongest performance yet at their first-ever Dakar Rally together. The crew came home just 7min 56sec off the pace in sixth fastest place. The pair’s trouble-free run placed them second-fastest of all four-wheel drive cars, giving them a welcomed confidence boost going into the Rest Day before tackling the second half of the gruelling event.
Taking advantage of a number of setup adjustments on their Hilux, Bernhard ten Brinke and navigator Tom Colsoul maintained their eighth place overall and limited their time loss to the leaders to just 9min 37sec, completing the stage in seventh. The pair are now 1hr 12min 58sec behind the overall leaders.
Giniel de Villiers and navigator Alex Haro lost 10min 48sec today despite pushing hard on the stage. The pair were frustrated with their performance and struggled to match the pace of the leading pack, coming home eighth fastest on the stage. Nevertheless, they arrived at the Rest Day in sixth place overall, with a gap to the lead of 55min 41sec.
With six demanding stages completed, all crews can now look forward to the traditional Rest Day which marks the mid-point of the Dakar Rally. This is also an opportunity for the technical crews to go through the cars with a fine-tooth comb, checking every system thoroughly in preparation for the final week of the 42nd edition of the Dakar Rally.
Glyn Hall, Team Principal: “We’re here at the Rest Day with all four cars and we’ve had no technical issues on any of the cars thus far. We’re in second place overall with Nasser and we had all four cars inside the top 10 today. Fernando put in an incredible performance to finish second-fastest of the Toyota Hilux crews. Unfortunately, today was a very high-speed stage, despite the small dunes in the middle. We had hoped for more dunes, but in the end it was a largely flat-out stage and not the best for us in terms of top speed.”
Nasser Al-Attiyah (No. 300): “It was a really good day. The stage was a long one and not easy. We tried to push as hard as we could, but we had one flat tyre which cost us about 1min 30sec. The stage was fast, with some dune crossings, but we’re happy to reach the Rest Day. I think next week there will be lots more sand which will suit us.”
Giniel de Villiers (No. 304): “It was pretty much flat out from the start today; a very fast stage with some dune crossings in between. We lost some time again today, because we just weren’t prepared to take the risks that the guys at the front were taking. Even today, we had a couple of big moments and it’s a bit frustrating to be so far off the leaders. We’ll have to see what we can do, but at least we’re still here, and there’s still a week to go. So, we’ll keep our chins up and keep on fighting.”
Bernhard ten Brinke (No. 307): “Today was a very good day. We started with some very fast track; but then we entered the dunes and it was immediately clear that the car was more at home than during the previous five stages. We made some big changes in the setup for today, including lowering the rear of the car. The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team did a great job to give me a better car for today’s stage, which allowed us to attack more. I think we spent more time in the air than on the ground and we had some really good pace.”
Fernando Alonso (No. 310): “Today was another good stage for us. We had no issues today; no punctures and good visibility. We got into a good rhythm again, especially in the dunes. Marc was especially good today in the dunes, because he is good at reading the lines. Thanks to all of that, we managed a good stage, and we arrive at the Rest Day with good confidence.”
2020 Dakar Rally Day 6 Results:
3rd No. 300 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +3min 22sec
6th No. 310 Fernando Alonso/Marc Coma, +7min 56sec
7th No. 307 Bernhard ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul, +9min 37sec
8th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +10min 48sec
2020 Dakar Rally Overall Results After Day 6:
2nd No. 300 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +7min 48sec
7th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +55min 41sec
8th No. 307 Bernhard ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul, +1hr 12min 58sec
16th No. 310 Fernando Alonso/Marc Coma, +3hrs 18min 13sec
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TOYOTA GAZOO Racing official website: http://toyotagazooracing.com/