- The leading TOYOTA GAZOO Racing crew of Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel put on an impressive display of never-give-up spirit and skill to win the penultimate Stage 11 of Dakar 2021, the team’s sixth stage victory of the event. Despite suffering two punctures midway through the 464-kilometre stage from Al Ula to the coastal city of Yanbu, the pair overturned their three minute deficit to an almost two minute advantage on the overall leader. Nasser and Mathieu heads into the final stage just over fifteen minutes behind the lead.
- Another two punctures held Giniel de Villiers and Alex Haro back on Stage 11, but the pair fought back despite struggling with the dust of the cars ahead of them to finish the stage in seventh. They remain in eighth place overall, but will aim to improve on this over the final 200-kilometre stage to Jeddah.
- Shameer Variawa and Dennis Murphy had three more punctures on the day’s stage. Despite the challenge, they continued to attack and finished in 18th They continued their march up the leader board and are now 21st in the overall standings.
Glyn Hall, Team Principal: “Eleven stages in, with one more day to go, I think the Toyota Gazoo Racing Dakar Team and the Toyota Hilux have performed fantastically so far. We’ve had our challenges with the punctures, but we had another stage win today with Nasser and Mathieu. And again today, two Hilux in the Top 4 of the stage. Even better, we’ve had no mechanical issues over more than 4,000 kilometres of highly competitive racing. We’ve still got one stage to go, but I think there’s nothing more we can do. We’ve not given up and we’ll push ourselves to the limit again tomorrow, no question.”
Nasser Al-Attiyah (No. 301): “I’m quite happy with us finishing Stage 11 of Dakar by winning our sixth stage*. On the one hand I’m a little disappointed because it has been my dream to win the race here in Saudi Arabia. Last year we finished second, and it looks like we’ll be second again this year. But there’s still one day left, and you never know what happens. With that said, I do hope all the crews reach the end of the race safely.”
Giniel de Villiers (No. 304): “We started the stage with two punctures this morning and lost a lot of time in the rocks that peppered the first 100 kilometres of the stage. The latter parts of the stage saw us pick up some pace, although we ran into the dust of Jakub Przygonski ahead of us. We hit a rock in the dunes because we couldn’t see, which bent the steering of the car a bit. But luckily the Hilux is tough, and we managed to continue to the end.”
Shameer Variawa (No. 330): “It was a long, tough day, even though we expected it to be a little easier. But it turned out to be very, very difficult. We suffered three punctures. Once you get punctures, you end up in the dust, and that’s your stage done. But I’m really enjoying the race, and I can’t believe we’re on the second-last day. It has been challenging and it has been awesome, and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
2021 Dakar Rally Stage 11 Results:
1st No. 301 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, 4hr 34min 24sec
7th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +13min 30sec
18th No. 330 Shameer Variawa/Dennis Murphy, +24min 30sec
2021 Dakar Rally Overall Results After Stage 11:
2nd No. 301 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel, +15min 05sec
8th No. 304 Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro, +3hr 55min 02sec
21st No. 330 Shameer Variawa/Dennis Murphy, +8hr 26min 35sec
* Including the Prologue