Stage 5 of the 2020 Dakar Rally saw the four TOYOTA GAZOO Racing crews maintain their overall positions. Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel were again the fastest of the foursome, setting the second-fastest time on the stage, and losing 2min 56sec to the stage winner, Carlos Sainz (MINI).
They remain in second place, however, and are now 5mins 59sec behind Sainz in the overall standings. This comes after a tough stage, where Al-Attiyah/Baumel started as the second car into the stage. They inherited the lead, however, when Stage 4 winner Stephane Peterhansel pulled over to replace a punctured tyre. The result was that the Toyota Hilux crew effectively opened the road for the bulk of the stage. They also had to nurse a slow puncture over the closing 50km of the stage, accounting for some of the time they lost.
Giniel de Villiers and Alex Haro finished Stage 5 as the 6th-fastest crew, losing 11min 46sec to the stage winners on the day. They remain in 7th place as a result, and are now 46min 26sec behind in the overall standings.
“The first part of the stage was quite fast, but then we reached a rocky section where we slowed down to avoid more punctures,” said De Villiers after reaching the bivouac at Ha’il. “I might have taken it too easy in that section, but after all the punctures we’ve had to deal with, we decided that caution was the better part of valour.”
The man from Stellenbosch lost more time in the closing kilometres of the stage, after tweaking his neck due to a rough landing. The injury was not serious, but the crew decided to slow down in order to minimise the pain for the driver.
Fernando Alonso and Marc Coma had a good stage, going 7th-fastest on the day. The Spanish pairing had two punctures, yet managed to bring their South African-built Toyota Hilux home just 34sec behind De Villiers/Haro.
Navigation played a key role in the outcome of Stage 5 for Bernhard ten Brinke and Tom Colsoul. The pair posted highly competitive times over the first section of the stage, but then lost time searching for a waypoint. In the end, they lost 20min 14sec on the stage, but retained their 8th spot in the overall standings, 1hr 4min 54sec behind.
Stage 6 is the final stage in the first week of the 2020 Dakar Rally, and takes the race from the central city of Ha’il to the Saudi capital of Riyadh – and the Rest Day. After 6 hard stages, the crews will be looking forward to a day of rest, while the technical staff prepare the cars for the final week of the race.
“It has been a really tough opening week to the rally,” said TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Team Principal, Glyn Hall, from the city of Ha’il. “Everyone has had to adapt to the new country, and the terrain we’ve encountered thus far has been really rough. But there’s more than half of the race left, and we are certainly still in with a shout.”
2020 Dakar Rally Day 5 Results:
2nd No. 300 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +2min 56sec
6th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +11min 46sec
7th No. 310 Fernando Alonso/Marc Coma, +12min 23sec
12th No. 307 Bernhard ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul, +20min 14sec
2020 Dakar Rally Overall Results After Day 5:
2nd No. 300 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +5min 59sec
7th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +46min 26sec
8th No. 307 Bernhard ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul, +1hr 4min 54sec
18th No. 310 Fernando Alonso/Marc Coma, +3hrs 11min 50sec