After 608km, Stage 10 of the 2020 Dakar brought more pain and frustration for the Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) team.
The stage also saw a racing section, but it was shortened to 230km due to safety concerns. The best placing TGR driver was Giniel de Villiers and co-driver, Alex Haro. The South African finished in third place, 4min26sec behind stage winner, Carlos Sainz (Mini).
Bernhard ten Brinke and Tom Colsoul finished the stage in sixth place and still remains in seventh place overall. They crossed the line 6min40sec behind Sainz.
Ten Brinke said: “The stage was tricky and dangerous – over exactly the type of terrain that the Hilux thrives on. The tougher it is, the better the car gets. We were disappointed to hear that we’d have only 230km to race on today, but at least the car is in one piece, which makes it easy for us to attack tomorrow.”
Things may have gone to plan for De Villiers and Ten Brinke, but the same can not be said of Fernando Alonso and Nasser Al-Attiyah.
Scaling a dune, Alonso and co-driver, Marc Coma, rolled their car. The duo were unhurt, but their Hilux suffered a broken windscreen and bent suspension. Seeing the lighter side to what was a forgettable day, team principal, Glynn Hall, recalled Alonso and Coma driving without a windscreen during a test session in South Africa last year.
Hall said from the bivouac at Haradh: “Luckily Fernando and Marc spent a fair bit of time racing without a windscreen at the Lichtenburg 400, part of the South African Cross-Country Series, last year. This experience certainly came in handy today, as they had to complete a long stage without a windscreen again.”
Al-Attiyah’s troubles were the biggest of the day. The Qatari lost nearly 18min trying to find a waypoint, and following it up by taking a wrong route for 20km. Though he and co-driver, Mathieu Baumel, made up a little bit of time, it wasn’t enough as they eventually finished 17min46sec behind Sainz.
At the end of Stage 9, Al-Attiyah was 24sec off Sainz’s pace, and Stage 10’s misfortunes did him and the team no favours.
According to the team report, only two stages remain in this year’s Dakar Rally, starting with the 744km dash from Shubaytah back to Haradh. The stage includes a timed section of 379km, and will start with 80km of tough dune crossings, before changing to faster tracks and rocky crossings.
2020 Dakar Rally Stage 10 Results:
3rd No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +4min 26sec
6th No. 307 Bernhard ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul, +6min 40sec
17th No. 300 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +17min 46sec
56th No. 310 Fernando Alonso/Marc Coma, +1hr 17min 33sec
2020 Dakar Rally Overall Results After Stage 10:
2nd No. 300 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +18min 10sec
6th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +1hr 2min 23sec
7th No. 307 Bernhard ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul, +1hr 15min 39sec
14th No. 310 Fernando Alonso/Marc Coma, +4hr 34min 56sec
Compiled by: Charlen Raymond