SA’s Henk and Brett in 2nd place as Dakar 2023 reaches rest day
  • 2nd on Stage 8 for Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel
  • 4th on Stage 8 for Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings
  • All three TGR crews in the Top 5 after Week 1

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing completed the opening week of the 2023 Dakar Rally in a strong position, with all three GR DKR Hilux T1+ cars in the Top 5. Stage 8 of the event, which brought the crews to Riyadh for the Rest Day, saw defending champions Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel record the second-fastest time, trailing the stage winners by just 2min 11sec. This leaves the TGR crew with a 1hr 3min 46sec advantage at the head of the field, with six stages remaining in the race.

The second fastest TGR crew on the day was Henk Lategan and co-driver Brett Cummings, who trailed the stage winners home by just 4min 53sec, over the 346km-long stage, which featured very rocky terrain. The pair recorded a clean run on the stage, with the GR Hilux running faultlessly. They remain in second place in the overall standings, placing two of the three TGR crews in first and second place after eight stages.

Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy had a solid day on Stage 7, going fourth-fastest. But Stage 8 bit back, with two punctures early in the stage. The South African Rally-Raid champions were forced into survival mode, driving 240km with no spare tyres, as cars in the T1+ class are only allowed to carry two spares. The crew relinquished 29min 44sec to the stage winners, dropping down to fifth place in the overall standings as a result.

The privately entered Hilux T1+ of Brazilian Lucas Moraes and his German co-driver, Timo Gottschalk, is still in third place in the overall rankings, making it a one-two-three for Toyota at the Rest Day – a remarkable achievement.

Stage 8 was the second part of a ‘mini marathon’ section, with the crews sleeping in a makeshift bivouac near Al Duwadimi after Stage 7. The return stage to Riyadh was a stern test, with many competitors reporting problems over the extremely rocky terrain.

The Rest Day is up next, and offers a day of rest and recuperation for the drivers and co-drivers, while the technical crews strip and rebuild the race cars in preparation for the final assault on the 2023 Dakar Rally. The event will feature six more stages, before concluding in the city of Dammam on 15 January, 2023.

QUOTES:

Glyn Hall, TGR Dakar Team Principal: “The first week of Dakar 2023 is finally done and dusted, and what a week it’s been for our team. If anyone had told me before the race that we’d have all three our cars in the Top 5 at the Rest Day, I’d have been a very happy man. Now this is our reality, and I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. On the other hand, there are still six stages to go, including the Marathon, so we can’t relax at all. The Dakar is never over, and we have a lot of respect for the stages ahead.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah: “Today was a good one for us, and I must say I’m really happy at this point in the race. I think we’ve done a good job so far, despite some big fights with our competitors earlier in the race. But to reach the Rest Day with more than an hour lead was one of our targets, and I’m happy to have achieved this. Now we need to focus on the coming week, as the terrain is completely different.”

Giniel de Villiers: “The luck just doesn’t seem to be on our side this year, and we just can’t string two good days together at the moment. Today, we had to do 240km without any spare tyres, despite taking it easy early in the stage. But then Henk caught up with us after just 60km, and I figured I might’ve been taking it too easy. Just 20km further, we had our first puncture. Another 30km, and we had our second puncture. From there it was back to survival mode to the finish.”

Henk Lategan: “Today, we didn’t really push. We found a good rhythm early on in the rocky sections, which was great as we know how easy it is to get a puncture. We took it really easy in the rocky stuff, and then picked up the pace a bit in the dunes. I think it was a tough day for most competitors, so I’m glad that we managed to keep it clean in the stage today. I do think we have a little more pace left in the dunes, but Brett has been taking a beating, and we’ll save that for when we need it.”

DAKAR 2023: Stage 8 Results

POS.

CREW

TEAM

TIME

VARIATION

1

201

(FRA) SEBASTIEN LOEB

(BEL) FABIAN LURQUIN

BAHRAIN RAID XTREME

03H 34' 24''

 

2

200

(QAT) NASSER AL-ATTIYAH

(FRA) MATHIEU BAUMEL

TOYOTA GAZOO RACING

GR DKR HILUX T1+

03H 36' 35''

+ 00H 02' 11''

3

207

(ESP) CARLOS SAINZ

(ESP) LUCAS CRUZ

TEAM AUDI SPORT

03H 37' 55''

+ 00H 03' 31''

4

217

(ZAF) HENK LATEGAN

(ZAF) BRETT CUMMINGS

TOYOTA GAZOO RACING

GR DKR HILUX T1+

03H 39' 17''

+ 00H 04' 53''

5

203

(POL) JAKUB PRZYGONSKI

(ESP) ARMAND MONLEON

X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM

03H 44' 43''

+ 00H 10' 19''

6

206

(FRA) GUERLAIN CHICHERIT

(FRA) ALEX WINOCQ

GCK MOTORSPORT

03H 44' 45''

+ 00H 10' 21''

7

230

(BRA) LUCAS MORAES

(DEU) TIMO GOTTSCHALK

OVERDRIVE RACING

03H 45' 33''

+ 00H 11' 09''

8

231

(FRA) ROMAIN DUMAS

(FRA) MAX DELFINO

REBELLION RACING

03H 51' 16''

+ 00H 16' 52''

9

202

(SAU) YAZEED AL RAJHI

(DEU) DIRK VON ZITZEWITZ

OVERDRIVE RACING

03H 51' 29''

+ 00H 17' 05''

10

213

(LTU) VAIDOTAS ZALA

(PRT) PAULO FIUZA

TELTONIKA RACING.

03H 52' 39''

+ 00H 18' 15''

21

205

(ZAF) GINIEL DE VILLIERS

(ZAF) DENNIS MURPHY

TOYOTA GAZOO RACING

GR DKR HILUX T1+

04H 04' 08''

+ 00H 29' 44''

DAKAR 2023: Standings after Stage 8

POS.

CREW

TEAM

TIME

VARIATION

1

200

(QAT) NASSER AL-ATTIYAH

(FRA) MATHIEU BAUMEL

TOYOTA GAZOO RACING

GR DKR HILUX T1+

31H 02' 58''

 

2

217

(ZAF) HENK LATEGAN

(ZAF) BRETT CUMMINGS

TOYOTA GAZOO RACING

GR DKR HILUX T1+

32H 06' 44''

+ 01H 03' 46''

3

230

(BRA) LUCAS MORAES

(DEU) TIMO GOTTSCHALK

OVERDRIVE RACING

32H 23' 20''

+ 01H 20' 22''

4

201

(FRA) SEBASTIEN LOEB

(BEL) FABIAN LURQUIN

BAHRAIN RAID XTREME

32H 55' 04''

+ 01H 52' 06''

5

205

(ZAF) GINIEL DE VILLIERS

(ZAF) DENNIS MURPHY

TOYOTA GAZOO RACING

GR DKR HILUX T1+

33H 07' 18''

+ 02H 04' 20''

6

231

(FRA) ROMAIN DUMAS

(FRA) MAX DELFINO

REBELLION RACING

33H 30' 09''

+ 02H 27' 11''

7

210

(CZE) MARTIN PROKOP

(CZE) VIKTOR CHYTKA

ORLEN BENZINA TEAM

33H 39' 58''

+ 02H 37' 00''

8

216

(ZAF) BRIAN BARAGWANATH

(ZAF) LEONARD CREMER

CENTURY RACING FACTORY TEAM

33H 45' 04''

+ 02H 42' 06''

9

224

(CHN) WEI HAN

(CHN) MA LI

HANWEI MOTORSPORT TEAM

34H 18' 01''

+ 03H 15' 03''

10

220

(ARG) JUAN CRUZ YACOPINI

(ESP) DANIEL OLIVERAS CARRERAS

OVERDRIVE RACING

34H 43' 20''

+ 03H 40' 22''

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing enjoys a mutually beneficial relationship with its partners Red Bull, Kinto, Eurol and the Innovation Group. The team is also supported by Hallspeed, SKF, Spanjaard, Edgecam, Supreme Springs, Shatterprufe, Smith’s Manufacturing, Oakley, Lumotech, OMP, MSA, SACCS and the FIA. Thanks also to Ingco, Jonsson Workwear and USN for their support.