The 2020 edition of the Dakar rally continues to throw its worst at the Toyota Gazoo Racing team.
All four drivers managed to successfully complete the third stage of the two-week long race, but are left with a mountain to climb if they are to take overall glory.
Jostling for positions
The leading driver, Nasser Al-Attiyah, and his co-driver Mathieu Baumel, finished the day in second place, but dropped down to fifth place after incurring a penalty for speeding through a control zone. Whereas they originally ended 3min31 seconds behind stage winner, Carlos Sainz (Mini), they saw their time behind Sainz drop to almost 8min.
Giniel de Villiers and co-driver Alex Haro, who won the second stage on Monday (6 Jan), ended the stage in ninth place, 16min43sec behind Sainz.
De Villiers opened the 427km-long stage, but the rock-strewn landscape forced them to adopt a slower pace, says the team report. Overall, De Villiers currently sits in seventh place.
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Toyota Gazoo Racing’s third driver pairing of Bernhard ten Brinke and Tom Colsoul had a tough day at the office. After starting the race in 15th place, the duo quickly found themselves in and amongst slower traffic; being caught in their dust. After two flat tyres and very cautious driving, they lost 16min43sec to Saiz at the end of the day.
Fernando Alonso and Marc Coma finished the day in fourth place. Alonso and Coma realise that they are not competing for overall glory in this year’s Dakar, but will be hoping to rake in solid performances over the course of the event.
Toyota Gazoo Racing Team Principal, Glyn Hall, said from the bivouac at Neom: “Overall, it was a really solid day for the team. Nasser and Mathieu are in the perfect position, and we are really happy with Fernando and Marc’s performance. Giniel and Bernard both did well, despite facing some challenges on the day.”
Stage 4 is up next, and will see the crews travel from Neom to the city of Al Ula, via a stage of 672km. This includes a special stage of 453km, which will be run on a mix of sandy tracks and rocky traverses.
2020 Dakar Rally Day 3 Results:
4th No. 310 Fernando Alonso/Marc Coma, +6min 14sec
5th No. 300 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +6min 31sec
9th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +16min 21sec
10th No. 307 Bernhard ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul, +16min 43sec
2020 Dakar Rally Overall Results After Day 3:
2nd No. 300 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +7min 55sec
7th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +23min 42sec
8th No. 307 Bernhard ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul, +33min 23sec
30th No. 310 Fernando Alonso/Marc Coma, +2hrs 40min 24secImage: MotorPress