- Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel recorded their second consecutive stage win on Dakar 2021, when they powered their Toyota Hilux to the fastest time over 403 kilometres of dunes and sandy tracks that made up Stage 3 of the event, a loop starting and ending in Wadi Ad-Dawasir. This moves them into second position in the overall standings, just over five minutes behind the lead, as the pair continues to challenge for a fourth Dakar Rally victory.
- Newcomer Henk Lategan and navigator Brett Cummings drove a perfect stage to record the second fastest time on Stage 3, trailing teammates Nasser and Mathieu by just 2min 27sec. The impressive performance rocketed the pair to seventh position overall as the leading rookie crew, 47min 25sec from the lead.
- Dakar veteran Giniel de Villiers and navigator Alex Haro started the day as the 17th car into the stage which brought more challenges for the embattled crew. Having lost more than two hours yesterday, the pair suffered a broken driveshaft early on in Stage 3, which not only cost them time for repairs, but dropped them into the dust of slower competitors. Two punctures added to their woes, losing 37min 47sec.
- The fourth TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux, in the hands of Shameer Variawa and Dennis Murphy, also suffered a broken driveshaft early on, followed by five punctures, costing the crew more than two hours but improved to 44th place overall.
Glyn Hall, Team Principal: “It was a really big stage today and not at all what we expected. We knew the stage was just over 400 km long, but there were plenty of rocks that weren’t mentioned in the briefing. Even so, it was good day for us, with Nasser and Mathieu winning the stage despite opening the road and gaining valuable time over Stéphane Peterhansel. I think the big news today is Henk and Brett, second overall, two-and-a-half minutes behind Nasser. What a fantastic day for the team, with our first one-two stage finish in a long time so everyone is very excited here in the bivouac.”
Nasser Al-Attiyah (No. 301): “Today was a really good day for us even though it was quite tough out there for everyone. At 407 kilometers, the stage was quite long with a lot of big dunes and fast tracks. There were many dangerous sections, but we did a really good job opening the stage and winning it too. We’ll try to keep going in the same direction every day but there’s still a long way to go, and we have some more work to do in order to close the gap to Stéphane Peterhansel in front of us. There are nine more stages to go and I’m sure there will be more tricky stages in the mix which could really shake things up.”
Giniel de Villiers (No. 304): “It was another challenging day and things just seem don’t want to go our way this year. We had a driveshaft failure on the left rear, which caused us to get stuck in the dunes. It happened in a really bad spot, so changing it took a long time. While we were changing the shaft, some cars and two trucks came past us and we had to deal with their dust when we got going again. We also had two punctures after that, so it was quite an eventful day for us. But we’re still here, so we’ll just keep going and try again tomorrow.”
Henk Lategan (No. 332): “It seems like the lessons from the first two days are starting to pay off a little. I have no doubt that we’ll have a few more difficult days coming our way, and tomorrow might be one of those due to our position on the road. Today was really nice, clean and fast. We were very comfortable in the car. Brett and I were both calm in the car which seems to be one of the keys to Dakar.”
Shameer Variawa (No. 330): “It was another hectic day for us. We broke a driveshaft early in the stage. It took us some time to change it but we got going again, then we had four punctures. We used all three our own spares and then ran out. We sat waiting for about 45 minutes until one of the other Toyota crews stopped to give us a spare. Next, we came across Bernhard ten Brinke who had rolled, so we took both of his remaining spares before suffering a final puncture. Overall, not an easy day.”
2021 Dakar Rally Stage 3 Results:
1st No. 301 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, 3hr 17min 39sec
2nd No. 332 Henk Lategan/Brett Cummings, +2min 27sec
27th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +37min 47sec
49th No. 330 Shameer Variawa/Dennis Murphy, +2hr 6min 39sec
2021 Dakar Rally Overall Results After Stage 3:
2nd No. 301 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +5min 09sec
7th No. 332 Henk Lategan/Brett Cummings, +47min 25sec
24th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +1hr 46min 05sec
44th No. 330 Shameer Variawa/Dennis Murphy, +4hr 34min 13sec