Jan 14, 2018
The Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Team holds second, fourth and fifth in the overall standings of the Dakar Rally after a dramatic seventh stage across the high-altitude tracks of Bolivia. Overall leader Stéphane Peterhansel suffered suspension issues, lost over 1hr 45min making emergency repairs and that enabled Nasser Al-Attiyah to move up a position to second in the overall standings behind new leader Carlos Sainz.
Al-Attiyah now trails the Spaniard by 1hr 11min 29sec with De Villiers 1hr 20min 54sec behind the 2010 race winner in fourth and Ten Brinke 1hr 25min 04sec adrift in fifth. Rain and thick mud replaced last week’s treacherous sand dunes as the major hazard on the tracks and several other leading drivers lost considerable time as a result of the appalling stage conditions. De Villiers and German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz recorded the second quickest time in their Toyota Hilux. Al-Attiyah and French navigator Matthieu Baumel were third, 2min 14sec behind De Villiers, and Ten Brinke and French co-driver Michel Périn were classified seventh on the day.
The first part of the Marathon stage took place across the high Bolivian plateau from La Paz to Uyuni. In a day’s route of 727km, competitors tackled a special stage of 425km. The day began with a liaison section at altitude from the rest day, via the towns of Patacamaya, Caracollo and Oruro, to the start of the special, before a short liaison guided teams into the Marathon night halt. The entire high-speed stage took place at over 3,700 metres above sea level with several tracks reaching in excess of 3,900 metres after the third passage control. Tomorrow, the second section of the Marathon stage will run from Uyuni to Tupiza and includes the longest special stage of the entire rally – 498km.The timed test also offers stretches of high-altitude sand dunes, starts to the north-east of Uyuni and climbs as high as 4,800 metres above sea level before the fifth passage control.
Saturday 13th January / La Paz-Uyuni / 425 km of stage
2. De Villiers-Von Zitzewitz (Toyota Hilux) + 12’05’’
3. Al Attiyah-Baumel (Toyota Hilux) + 14’19’’
7. Ten Brinke-Perin (Toyota Hilux) + 31’33’’
2. Al Attiyah-Baumel (Toyota Hilux) + 1h11’29’’
4. De Villiers-Von Zitzewitz (Toyota Hilux) + 1h20’54’’
5. Ten Brinke-Perin (Toyota Hilux) + 1h25’04’’
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