Stage 9 of Dakar 2021 saw TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s leading crew, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel, lose ground to the overall race leader, Stéphane Peterhansel, over the course of a 465km-long special stage that started and finished at Neom, on the Red Sea coast. Two punctures early in the stage forced Al-Attiyah/Baumel to be cautious, and in the end they surrendered 12min 00sec to the overall lead. https://youtu.be/-NdpbqmjQzc

Punctures also hampered the progress of Giniel de Villiers and Alex Haro, who suffered two flat tyres within 2km of each other early in the stage. The pair were forced to drive in the dust of slower competitors after losing significant time on Stage 8 – a result of four punctures on the day. Stage 9 saw them approach the stage with caution, but they managed the third-fastest time on the day, finishing just 19sec behind teammates Al-Attiyah/Baumel.

“If you look at the overall result, we’re now nearly 18 minutes behind Stéphane,” said a clearly frustrated TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Team Principal, Glyn Hall, from the bivouac at Neom. “I don’t like depending on someone else’s misfortune to win a race, I want our team to be the fastest. But if I reflect on the whole race, we’ve now had 48 punctures between the three cars still running. And simply put, that’s just too many, and it has taken the edge off the race for us. It means we can’t really have a strategy, we can’t plan anything as a team, and as a result even Nasser is pretty down at the moment. Today was a stage when he really needed to gain some time, but instead he had two punctures. He said he hit nothing in the road, and on inspection we found only small holes in the tyres. Nothing like the cuts that you’d expect if he had been off the road. It is really difficult to push for a win when we face these challenges, like 48 punctures.”

Shameer Variawa and Dennis Murphy suffered only a single puncture in Stage 9, but the navigational errors slowed their progress. The pair started as the 7th car into the stage, after a good performance on Stage 8. But time lost searching for two waypoints saw them slide to 18th on the stage, losing 32min 35sec on the day. Despite this, they’ve improved to 23rd in the overall standings, with three stages to go. https://youtu.be/f3PNg7qJ8PQ

Stage 10 will see the rally return to the spectacular rock formations and canyons around Al Ula. The timed section of the stage is 342km long, with a liaison distance of 241km. Crews will leave behind the shores of the Red Sea as they turn inland, before taking on the final stages over the coming days. Dakar 2021 is set to finish in Jeddah on Friday, January 15th.

Results Stage 9

Pos Crew Team Time Variance Penalty
1 PETERHANSEL/BOULANGER X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM 04H 50’27”
2 AL-ATTIYAH / BAUMEL TOYOTA GAZOO RACING 05H 02’27” +00H 12’00”
3 DE VILLIERS/HARO TOYOTA GAZOO RACING 05H 02’46” +00H 12’19”
4 AL RAJHI / VON ZITZEWITZ OVERDRIVE TOYOTA 05H 03’11” 00H 12’44”
5 BARAGWANATH/PERRY CRNTURY RACING 05H 04’18” +00H 13’51”
6 PROKOP/CHYTKA BENZINA ORLEN TEAM 05H 07’04” +00H 16”37”
7 DESPRES/HORN ABU DHABI RACING 05H 09’12” +00H 18’45”
8 AL QASSIMI/PANSERI ABU DHABI RACING 05H10’07” +00H 19’40”
9 VANAGAS/PALMEIRO INBANK TOYOTA GAZOO 05H 10’23” +00H 19’56”
10 ROMA/WINOCQ BAHRAIN RAID XTREME 05H 12’06” +00H 21’39”
11 SAINZ/ CRUZ X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM 05H 22’30” +00H 22’30”
17 VARIAWA/MURPHY TOYOTA GAZOO RACING 05H 23’02” +00H 32’35”

 

Overall Result after Stage 9

Pos Crew Team Time Variance Penalty
1 PETERHANSEL/BOULANGER X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM 34H 26’16”
2 AL-ATTIYAH / BAUMEL TOYOTA GAZOO RACING 34h 44’06” +00H 17’50”
3 SAINZ/ CRUZ X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM 35H 28’41” +01H 02’25”
4 PRZYGONSKI/GOTTSCHALK ORLEN TEAM/OVERDRIVE 36H 42’46” +02H 16’30” 00H 02’00”
5 ROMA/ WINOCQ BAHRAIN RAID XTREME 37H 08’54” +02H 42’38”
6 AL QASSIMI/PANSERI ABU DHABI RACING 37H 27’29” +03H 01’13”
7 VASILYEV/TSRYO X-RAID TEAM 37H 36’33” +03H 10’17”
8 PROKOP/CHYTKA BENZINA ORLEN TEAM 38H 02’17” +03H 36’01” 00H 01’00”
9 DE VILLIERS / HARO TOYOTA GAZOO RACING 38H 06’25” +03 40’09” 00H 21’00”
10 LAVIEILLE/GARCIN MD RALLYE SPORT 38H 36’48” +04H 10’32”’
24 VARIAWA/MURPHY TOYOTA GAZOO RACING 42H 21’41” +07H 55’25” 00H 02’00”
33 BARAGWANETH/PERRY CENTURY RACING 46H 43’38” +12H 17’22” 00H 23’00”

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