LISTEN | SA's de Villiers talks about a rough patch in Stage 10 before finishing sixth

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• 2nd on stage for Al-Attiyah/Baumel
• 6th on stage for De Villiers/Haro, 14th on stage for Variawa/Murphy
• Thursday will be the last big stage for the Al-Attiyah to try and gain some time on Peterhansel.
• For more motoring stories, go to Wheels24.


Toyota Gazoo Racing consolidated their position at Dakar 2021 with another solid result in Stage 10 on Wednesday (13 January). 

The team's leading crew, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel, finished second on the stage, trailing stage winner Yazeed Al Rajhi (Toyota Hilux) by just 2min04sec at the end. Al-Attiyah/Baumel also gained 49sec over rally leader Stéphane Peterhansel (MINI), but still trail by 17min 01sec in the overall standings, with two stages to go. Stage 10 brought the rally from Neom to the canyonlands of Al-Ula, with a timed section of 342 km and liaisons of 241km.

Giniel de Villiers and Alex Haro struggled in dust early in Stage 10, before finding themselves slightly off the ideal route and in thick camel grass. This cost them some time, but they re-joined the main track shortly after and managed to post the 6th-fastest time, 6min 12sec behind Al Rajhi.

De Villiers talks gives us a brief overview of the day in the clip above.

giniel de villiers,toyota gazoo racing,dakar
Giniel de Villiers on his way to victory on Stage 5 of Dakar 2021



They suffered no punctures on the day – their first puncture-free stage of the event – though they had to change a wheel due to a bubble in one of the sidewalls. They managed this task during one of the decontrolled sections, so it didn’t cost them any time.

Stage 10 brought another clean run for Shameer Variawa and Dennis Murphy, whose only complaint was the thick dust kicked up by slower competitors, which hampered their progress somewhat. They also recorded a puncture-free day and finished 14th on the stage.

With ten stages behind them, Variawa/Murphy find themselves in 23rd place overall, 8hr 4min 01sec behind the leaders. De Villiers/Haro are up into 8th place, 3hr 43min 28sec behind Peterhansel.

Team Prinical Glyn Hall says from the bivouac at Al-Ula: "Toyota had another really good stage today. Yazeed won the stage, with Nasser in second, so we couldn’t really ask for much more. But the reality is that we are still more than 17min behind Peterhansel, and though we'll never give up the fight, the fact is that we are running out of stages. Tomorrow is the last big stage, so let's see what Nasser and Mathieu can do. But we can certainly be proud of the number of Toyotas in the top positions even now."

The penultimate stage of Dakar 2021 will see the crews race from Al-Ula to the town of Yanbu, on a route that was shortened from 511km to 464km due to erosion in the final sections of the track after heavy rains in the area. The race is set to finish in Jeddah on Friday, January 15th.

2021 Dakar Rally Stage 10 Results:

2nd No. 301 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +2min 04sec

6th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +6min 12sec

14th No. 330 Shameer Variawa/Dennis Murphy, +11min 29sec

2021 Dakar Rally Overall Results After Stage 10:

2nd No. 301 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +17min 01sec

8th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +3hr 43min 28sec

23rd No. 330 Shameer Variawa/Dennis Murphy, +8hr 04min 01sec

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