Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Nasser Al-Attiyah closes on first Toyota win in 2019 Dakar Rally

Dakar Rally leader Nasser Al-Attiyah set the pace in the penultimate stage of the 2019 marathon, edging ever closer to a milestone first victory for Toyota

The Qatari bagged his third stage win of the event on a day which caused major problems for Sebastien Loeb, Stephane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres - three drivers that were within the top five in the general classification heading into the special.

Peterhansel was ruled out shortly after the start, as a crash 26 kilometres in consigned him to a first Dakar retirement in a decade.

The 13-time Dakar champion's co-driver David Castera had to be transported to a Lima hospital after sustaining a back injury.

"We came over a dune and landed head-on in the next dune," explained Peterhansel. "Everything went so fast that David, who was looking at the road book at that moment, didn't expect the impact."

A mass-start format for the Wednesday stage, looping around Pisco, saw cars line up in groups of four, meaning Al-Attiyah kicked off his run at the same time as Loeb, Toyota teammate Giniel de Villiers and Jakub Przygonski.

As Loeb disappeared up the road, Al-Attiyah paced himself conservatively through the 312km timed route around Pisco.

He trailed Loeb by almost 10 minutes at the final waypoint before the finish, but was back ahead when the Frenchman's Peugeot came to a stop in the final stretch of the test.

Cyril Despres stood to benefit from Loeb's travails as he was marginally ahead of Al-Attiyah at the final waypoint and would've competed for his first Dakar stage win in a Mini buggy.

But he rolled with just over 20 kilometres to go, and wound up 40 minutes slower than Al-Attiyah at the finish, while Loeb arrived 1h16m later than the stage winner.

Al-Attiyah, who has led the 2019 event at the end of every day of competition but one, will take a 51-minute buffer over Nani Roma into the 112km Pisco-Lima test that will conclude the rally on Thursday.

Roma was second on the day, and now looks assured of a second-place finish overall, having been only seconds clear of Loeb after Tuesday's action.

Despite his late-stage drama, Loeb is still on course to wrap up his second Dakar podium finish, as he retains a half-hour advantage over X-raid's Jakub Przygonski.

Having overhauled Despres, FIA cross-country rally world champion Przygonski is on course to post his best-ever Dakar finish in fourth place.

The same is true for sometime WRC regular Martin Prokop, who sits a comfortable sixth in his privateer Ford Raptor.

Leading stage nine times

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 3h53m22.s
2 Nani Roma X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 4m58.s
3 Giniel de Villiers Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 7m15.s
4 Jakub Przygonski Orlen Team / X-Raid Mini/BMW 14m01.s
5 Benediktas Vanagas General Financing Team Pitlane Toyota 15m45.s
6 Carlos Sainz X-Raid Mini John Cooper Works Rally Team Mini/BMW 18m33.s
7 Martin Prokop MP Sports Ford 22m59.s
8 Yazeed Al-Rajhi X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 33m25.s
9 Cyril Despres X-Raid Mini John Cooper Works Rally Team Mini/BMW 39m46.s
10 Boris Garafulic X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 40m20.s

Leading positions after stage nine

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 33h00m09.s
2 Nani Roma X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 59m51.s
3 Sebastien Loeb PH-Sport Peugeot 2h00m02.s
4 Jakub Przygonski Orlen Team / X-Raid Mini/BMW 2h00m34.s
5 Cyril Despres X-Raid Mini John Cooper Works Rally Team Mini/BMW 2h59m55.s
6 Martin Prokop MP Sports Ford 3h00m19.s
7 Yazeed Al-Rajhi X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 4h00m28.s
8 Giniel de Villiers Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 7h00m08.s
9 Boris Garafulic X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 8h00m01.s
10 Ronan Chabot Overdrive Toyota Toyota 8h00m11.s

Be part of Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Dakar Rally: Peterhansel crashes out of penultimate 2019 stage
Next article Nasser Al-Attiyah claims Toyota's first Dakar Rally victory

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe