TOYOTA GAZOO Racing opens Dakar 2021 account with Stage 2 win
- Winners of the 2019 Dakar Rally, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel, recorded their first stage win of the 2021 event by posting the fastest time on the 457-kilometre Stage 2. The strong stage result propelled them into third position in the overall standings, 9min 14sec behind the lead.
- After a good performance on the opening stage, Giniel de Villiers and Alex Haro lost more than 45 minutes today due to navigational difficulties, completing the stage in 38th place. To make matters worse, the pair were penalised for missing a waypoint and now sits in 23rd overall.
- Rookie Henk Lategan and navigator, Brett Cummings, finished Stage 2 in 14th despite losing time after getting stuck in the dunes at the start of the stage. They lost additional time due to navigational problems and they are now 16th position in the overall standings.
- Shameer Variawa and Dennis Murphy lost 2hr 19min 04sec on Stage 2, after getting severely stuck in the soft dunes near the start of the timed section. They are now in 45th place overall and will look to improve their performance on tomorrow’s Stage 3, a loop of 403 kilometres, starting and ending at Wadi Ad-Dawasir on the edge of the Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter.
Glyn Hall, Team Principal: “Nasser was absolutely on it today. He pushed really hard throughout the stage and really made no mistakes with Mathieu doing a great job. Without any punctures, he was able to not only match the pace of the leaders, but to finish ahead of yesterday’s stage winners. This keeps him in the thick of the fight at the front end of the field. The rest of our crews had mixed results, with all three cars losing time to navigational difficulties, and getting stuck in the soft dunes at the start of the stage. But, it is early days yet and we’re looking forward to the remainder of the rally.”
Nasser Al-Attiyah (No. 301): “I’m happy to have won the stage today. It wasn’t an easy stage, and the buggies were still really fast. But I think we’ll change our mindset a little, to push every day and aim for a spot in the Top 3. Overall, I’m quite happy, and we’ll see what we can achieve on Stage 3.”
Giniel de Villiers (No. 304): “Today was an absolute disaster with the navigation, and I think we did about 50 kilometres more than we needed to. We were in the right place, and if we just continued another 500 metres it would’ve been fine. Then, there was another waypoint that the GPS didn’t pick up, so it was a nightmare. It was very disappointing, because it went okay up until the first error, but then the whole pack of cards came tumbling down.”
Henk Lategan (No. 332): “It was another tough day on the Dakar. Right at the start I made a mistake and we got stuck on a dune for quite some time. Then, still in the dunes, we struggled to find one of the waypoints, possibly because we had added some kilometres to the odometer driving around in the dunes. We turned around just before the waypoint, and had to cross all the difficult dunes we had just cleared again. In the end, the waypoint was right there and we managed to pick up the pace somewhat. Later in the stage the navigation tripped us up again, but we learnt a lot today, and will be putting our new knowledge to the test in Stage 3.”
Shameer Variawa (No. 330): “Today was a day to forget for us. We got stuck in the soft dunes right at the start of the stage, and struggled to get out. To make matters worse, one of our hydraulic jacks lost a base plate and we were forced to dig out the car by hand. This took a lot of time. In the end, it put paid to our aspirations for a Top 10 finish. With that said, the race is far from over and we’ll continue to push over the coming days.”
2021 Dakar Rally Stage 2 Results:
1st No. 301 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, 4hr 03min 14sec
14th No. 332 Henk Lategan/Brett Cummings, +33min 20sec
38th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +1hr 05min 22sec
52nd No.330 Shameer Variawa/Dennis Murphy, +2hr 19min 04sec
2021 Dakar Rally Overall Results After Stage 2:
3rd No. 301 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +9min 14sec
16th No. 332 Henk Lategan/Brett Cummings, +49min 03sec
23rd No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +1hr 12min 23sec
45th No.330 Shameer Variawa/Dennis Murphy, +2hr 31min 39sec
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