The fifth stage of the world’s most grueling endurance race saw team Toyota Gazoo Racing bag mixed results.
Led by Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah, the team did their best to secure the maximum result. All four teams crossed the finish line to complete the stage, but lost time to overall leader, Carlos Sainz (Mini).
Speaking from the city if Ha’il, team principal, Glyn Hall, said: “It has been a really tough opening week to the rally. Everyone has had to adapt to the new country, and the terrain we’ve encountered thus far has been really rough. But there’s more than half of the race left, and we are certainly still within a shout.”
Of the four Toyota Gazoo Racing teams, Al-Attiyah and co-driver, Mathieu Baumel, were the fastest. The duo started the stage in second place behind Stage 4 winner, Stephane Peterhansel (Mini), but inherited the lead after the Frenchman suffered a puncture.
Despite good pace, they finished the stage behind Sainz; losing a further 2min56sec to the Spanish driver. Definitely adding to the time lost was a slow puncture Al-Attiyah had to nurse home in the closing stages 50km.
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Giniel de Villiers and Alex Haro were sixth fastest on day five - 11min46sec slower than the stage winner. This means that the duo is now in seventh place overall, and 46min26sec off the lead. Adding to their woe, De Villiers tweaked his neck following a rough landing. Though not serious, a slower pace was adopted to minimize the pain.
Fernando Alonso and Marc Coma suffered two punctures during the stage, but finished the day a mere 34 seconds behind De Villiers/Haro. Bernhard ten Brinke and Tom Colsoul lost 20min14sec due to navigational erros, but are in eighth position overall; albeit more than an hour off the pace.
Stage 6 is the final stage in the first week of the 2020 Dakar Rally, and takes the race from the central city of Ha’il to the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
2020 Dakar Rally Day 5 Results:
2nd No. 300 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +2min 56sec
6th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +11min 46sec
7th No. 310 Fernando Alonso/Marc Coma, +12min 23sec
12th No. 307 Bernhard ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul, +20min 14sec
2020 Dakar Rally Overall Results After Day 5:
2nd No. 300 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +5min 59sec
7th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +46min 26sec
8th No. 307 Bernhard ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul, +1hr 4min 54sec
18th No. 310 Fernando Alonso/Marc Coma, +3hrs 11min 50sec
Compiled by: Charlen Raymond