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News 2018


21 April 2018

•    Al Attiyah/Baumel continue domination
•    Toyota Hilux runs faultlessly

DOHA, QATAR – Toyota Gazoo Racing SA’s Nasser Al Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel continued their perfect run on the 2018 Qatar Cross-Country Rally by winning Stage 4 of the 5-stage event on Saturday, 21 April. The 358-km long stage turned out to be an extremely tough test, especially for the co-drivers, who had to pick their way through the treacherous dunes.

“Both Nasser and Mathieu did a great job on today’s stage,” said Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall, from the bivouac at the Losail International Race Circuit north of Doha. “Nasser chose a more tactical approach by tackling the dunes at a slower pace in order to bunch up the competitors behind him. Once he got back to the rocky terrain below the dunes, he pushed hard to open a gap – and it all worked perfectly.”

Al Attiyah/Baumel set a time of 03:32:02 over the 358 km racing distance. This put them 07:17 ahead of their nearest challengers, in the form of Jakub Przysgonski and navigator Tom Colsoul (MINI) on the day, stretching their overall lead in the event to 14:43:00.

Third on Stage 4 was Ford’s Martin Prokop and co-driver David Pabiska in their Ford F150, nearly 15 minutes slower than the winning time set by the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Hilux of Al Attiyah. It was good day for Toyota drivers, as no fewer than four South African-built Toyota Hilux race cars occupied positions in the Top 10 on the day’s result sheets.

“But don’t be fooled into thinking that it was easy,” continued Hall. “Navigation is proving to be very challenging on this event with teams having to work hard to find the right way in the dunes. Mathieu is widely regarded as one of the top navigators in the world, and he rates navigating on this route as extremely difficult.”

There was more good news for the Toyota Gazoo SA Team in that teammate Rob Howie is scheduled to return to South Africa within the next day or two following the back injury he sustained on day two of the event. “The doctors are happy that Rob can be released from the hospital in Doha where has been receiving treatment for the last few days,” said a relieved Hall.

Just one more stage now separates Al Attiyah from yet another Qatar Cross-Country victory. The final stage will consist of 343 kilometers before the event draws to a close at the Losail Circuit on Sunday 22 April, 2018. This will bring the total race distance of the event to just shy of 1,400 km, and should Al Attiyah/Baumel be victorious on the final stage, it will mean a fourth consecutive victory for the crew on the Qatar Cross-Country Rally.

1. Al Attiyah/Baumel (Toyota Hilux)
2. Przygonski/Colsoul (MINI)            +07:17:00
3. Prokop/Pabiska (Ford)                +14:52:00
4. Vasilyev/Zhiltsov (MINI)                +20:50:00
5. Seaidan/Lichtleuchter (Toyota Hilux)        +33:05:00

1. Al Attiyah/Baumel (Toyota Hilux)
2. Przygonski/Colsoul (MINI)            +00:14:43:00
3. Vasilyev/Zhiltsov (MINI)                +00:46:37:00
4. Seaidan/Lichtleuchter (Toyota Hilux)    +01:38:44:00
5. Domzala/Marton (Toyota Hilux)        +02:02:04:00

Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Acknowledges Its Sponsors and Specialist Official Suppliers and Technical Partners
Toyota enjoys a mutually beneficial relationship with Total, Toyota Financial Services and the Innovation Group. Also Hallspeed, Imperial Toyota, SKF, Spanjaard, OMP, NGK, Donaldson, Mastercraft, Edgecam, 3M, Bandit Signs, Shatterprufe, Supreme Springs, Smith’s Manufacturing, TRD, Peritus Forex, 4x4 Mega World, First National Battery, Duxbury Netgear and Plan-C Productions.


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