Formula 1
02 Jul
-
05 Jul
Event finished
09 Jul
-
12 Jul
FP1 in
2 days
MotoGP
17 Jul
-
19 Jul
FP1 in
8 days
R
Andalusian GP
24 Jul
-
26 Jul
Next event in
15 days
Formula E
R
Berlin ePrix I
05 Aug
-
05 Aug
Next event in
27 days
R
Berlin ePrix II
06 Aug
-
06 Aug
Next event in
28 days
NASCAR Cup
05 Jul
-
05 Jul
Event finished
R
Kentucky
12 Jul
-
12 Jul
Race in
4 days
IndyCar
10 Jul
-
12 Jul
Qualifying 1 in
3 days
WEC
13 Aug
-
15 Aug
Next event in
35 days
R
Bahrain
19 Nov
-
21 Nov
Next event in
133 days
Supercars
26 Jun
-
28 Jun
Event finished
17 Jul
-
19 Jul
Next event in
8 days

Toyota's horror day a reminder of Dakar's “cruel” nature

shares
comments
Toyota's horror day a reminder of Dakar's “cruel” nature
By:
Jan 5, 2017, 1:42 AM

Toyota's Dakar frontrunner Giniel de Villiers says the Japanese marque's woes on Wednesday, when its lead cars all suffered major issues, has served as a reminder of the rally's “cruel” nature.

#305 Overdrive Racing Toyota: Nani Roma, Alex Haro
#302 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota: Giniel de Villiers, Dirk von Zitzewitz
#301 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota: Nasser Al-Attiyah, Matthieu Baumel
Nasser Al-Attiyah, Toyota Gazoo Racing
#301 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota: Nasser Al-Attiyah, Matthieu Baumel
Giniel De Villiers, Toyota Gazoo Racing
#302 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota: Giniel de Villiers, Dirk von Zitzewitz
Nani Roma, Overdrive Racing
#301 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota: Nasser Al-Attiyah, Matthieu Baumel
#302 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota: Giniel de Villiers, Dirk von Zitzewitz

Heading into the Tucuman – Jujuy test, Toyota had three cars within the top five – and at halfway point of the test, it looked set to take the lead with Nasser Al-Attiyah.

However, in the second timed section Toyota's Dakar campaign took several hits: Al-Attiyah hit a rock and suffered major damage to his car, de Villiers lost lots of time to a fuel pump issue, Nani Roma stopped for several minutes, and lead privateer Erik van Loon ran out of fuel.

Reflecting on Toyota's day, de Villiers told Motorsport.com: “This is how it goes at the Dakar. This race can be so cruel – one day you can have everything going right, and the next day can be completely turned on its head.

“And that's what happened today unfortunately for us – but we won't give up, we'll keep on trying, there's still 10-11 days to go. So, a lot can still happen.”

Toyota's woes were particularly frustrating as they'd occurred on a day where the Hilux had arguably looked stronger than expected, given the high altitudes.

“I think the car was working quite well. You could also see, Nasser was going at a really good speed today – until he had his crash, unfortunately,” de Villiers said. “It shows that the car is really working at altitude now. We put a lot of effort to achieve that and it looks good.

“It's a pity about the [fuel pump] problem, otherwise we would've still been in with a fight. Thirty five minutes off the lead, the race is still long – but you don't want to lose that amount of time against strong competition like this.

“In all my years that I've been doing Dakar, 35 minutes has been somewhere on the podium. If not second, [then] third – but mostly second. We just can't afford to make any more mistakes – but we've still got a chance to make the podium.”

“Game over” for Al-Attiyah

Having lost more than two hours after his accident, Al-Attiyah conceded his third Dakar win will have to wait until 2018 at earliest.

“Game over,” the Qatari said. “It was bad luck. We hit the other side on big stone and we broke the wheel completely.

“It was a mistake, but a mistake is a mistake, you know. It's bad luck, but this is the race; this is how the Dakar is, you know. We were doing a really good job, we were leading, but there you go.

“It will be a long year to wait.”

Meanwhile, Roma, who was the least affected of Toyota's top contenders, told Motorsport.com: “I feel have been saved by the bell. It is part of this competition. Sometimes you have to suffer. We'll try to be better tomorrow.

“Basically it has been an electrical issue. The car entered in a safe mode and we couldn’t make it work. We tried to repair it, to change a thousand things. But it didn't move. We stopped again and changed some things and finally it started to work better.”

Additional reporting by Sergio Lillo

Next article
Price frustrated by costly navigation errors

Previous article

Price frustrated by costly navigation errors

Next article

Dakar rider struck by lightning during Stage 3

Dakar rider struck by lightning during Stage 3
Load comments

About this article

Series Dakar
Event Dakar
Drivers Giniel de Villiers , Nani Roma , Nasser Al-Attiyah
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy