Al-Attiyah claims Toyota's fourth stage win

Al-Attiyah claims Toyota's fourth stage win

19.01.2018: Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah claimed his third stage victory and the Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Team’s fourth on the 12th competitive section of the Dakar Rally, a 523km stage between Chilecito and San Juan in northwestern




Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah claimed his third stage victory and the Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Team’s fourth on the 12th competitive section of the Dakar Rally, a 523km stage between Chilecito and San Juan in northwestern Argentina.



Al-Attiyah and French navigator Matthieu Baumel began the day 1hr 24min 02sec behind leader Carlos Sainz after the Spaniard’s time penalty was removed by race stewards and now trail by 1hr 05min 55sec in third overall with two stages remaining before the finish in Córdoba on Saturday.


The two-time event winner’s stage win was the 29th in his Dakar career, despite losing some time with flat tyres on the day’s stage. Bernhard Ten Brinke and French co-driver Michel Périn continued where they left off the previous day to clock the quickest time at the end of the first section of the special, despite being the first crew on the road and having no motorcycle tracks to use as a guide following the cancellation of the stage for the two-wheel competitors.



The Dutchman reached the end of section one 1min 28sec in front of team-mate Al-Attiyah, with De Villiers in fifth place, 2min 22sec adrift. He went on to set the fifth quickest time and maintained fourth in the overall classification. South Africa’s Giniel De Villiers and German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz finished the longest competitive section of this year’s event in third position and maintained fourth in the rankings after punctures and a shock absorber issue cost them some time.



Tomorrow, the penultimate stage of the Dakar heads in an easterly direction across north-central Argentina from San Juan to the country’s second city of Córdoba. A short liaison takes teams to the start of a special of 369km that winds its way through the Pampas de las Salinas, after crossing the dunes of San Juan, and finishes over some of the classic WRC-style roads that have featured in the Rally of Argentina.



The stage finishes to the west of Vila Carlos Paz and the reminder of a day’s liaison of 560km takes teams to the bivouac.



 Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah said:
“It’s good to win again. We really attacked today, most notably on the second timed section to conserve our third position. It was not easy because the terrain was particularly broken and it cost us two flat tyres in each of the sections. But we achieved our objective of taking near to eight minutes from our team-mate Bernhard.”



 Giniel de Villiers said
: “It was a long day with a lot of stones to avoid and difficult navigation in the rivers. I suffered two punctures before breaking a shock absorber spring and then I was stuck in the dust of another competitor for a long time. But it was fun to drive in this stage.  Everything is still possible because it is still a long way to Córdoba.”



 Bernhard Ten Brinke said:
“It was not easy to open the track without the motorcycles, but I learned a lot. Michel was also very good and, on the first timed section, we were very fast without making mistakes. It was physically demanding, but we continued to attack on the second part until we scared ourselves a little and Michel recommended me to slow a bit.



We also had a problem with the battery, but I knew which sensor to disconnect to fix the problem, so it did not cost us much time. We just had to finish without air conditioning, but I am particularly happy with the result because I was expecting to concede 10 or 15 minutes by starting first over such a distance.”




RESULTS :


Thursday 18th January / Chilecito-San Juan / 522 km of stage

 
1. Al Attiyah-Baumel (Toyota Hilux)
3. De Villiers-Von Zitzewitz (Toyota Hilux) + 4’33’’
5. Ten Brinke-Perin (Toyota Hilux) + 7’53’’



Overall classification

 
3. Al Attiyah-Baumel (Toyota Hilux) + 1h05’55’’
4. Ten Brinke-Perin (Toyota Hilux) + 1h17’21’’
5. De Villiers-Von Zitzewitz (Toyota Hilux) + 1h26’31’’
 




Eric Bellegarde   - Neil Perkins - photos Red Bull

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/al-attiyah-toyota-fourth-stage-win---171778.html

19.01.2018 / MaP

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