· Overdrive Racing’s Ronan Chabot and Gilles Pillot round off top 10
LIMA (PERU) – Thursday, January 17: Qatari rally driver Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah created a little piece of history for Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa and Overdrive Racing by winning the Dakar Rally for the first time in a South African-built Toyota Hilux.
A convincing win by the margin of 46min 42sec confirmed a third career Dakar victory for the Arab driver and a first in history for the Japanese manufacturer.
Al-Attiyah and his French co-driver Matthieu Baumel dominated the 10-stage race through southern Peru from the opening stage on January 7th. They won three of the timed sections, led after day one and then from the end of day three to the finish. The win was doubly special for Baumel, who celebrated his birthday on the final day podium in Lima.
Al-Attiyah said: “It’s fantastic. No mistakes during the entire rally. It was a very, very difficult rally for everybody. We were leading from day three and we built on our time every day until we came to the last day with a big lead. I am happy for Toyota because it is the first time in history that they won the Dakar. This is fantastic.”
“All the drivers are really strong. Everybody wants to win the Dakar. But we felt when we came, that in Peru, a 100% Peru rally, there would be a lot of sand dunes, so we could do what we know we are good at.”
Overdrive Racing and Toyota have come close to winning the event on several occasions, but this year’s Peruvian success was topped off by a top 10 finish for the French duo of Ronan Chabot and Gilles Pillot in their Overdrive Racing-run Toyota Hilux.
They overcame some of the most demanding dune crossings in the history of the Dakar to reach the finish in 10th place, a little over 10 minutes behind ninth-placed Giniel de Villiers and navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz in the second of the Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Hiluxes.
2019 Dakar Rally – final results:
1. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) Toyota Gazoo Hilux 34hrs 38min 14sec
2. Joan Roma (ESP)/Alex Haro (ESP) Mini John Cooper Works Rally 35hrs 24min 56sec
3. Sebastien Loeb (FRA)/Daniel Elena (FRA) Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi 36hrs 32min 32sec
4. Jakub Przygonski (POL)/Tom Colsoul (BEL) Mini John Cooper Works Rally 37hrs 06min 45sec
5. Cyril Despres (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Mini John Cooper Works Buggy 37hrs 26min 57sec
6. Martin Prokop (CZE)/Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford F150 Evo 37hrs 57min 16sec
7. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU)/Timo Gottschalk (DEU) Mini John Cooper Works Rally 39hrs 09min 10sec
8. Boris Garafulic (CHL)/Filipe Palmeiro (PRT) Mini John Cooper Works Rally 42hrs 36min 12sec
9. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (DEU) Toyota Gazoo Racing Hilux 42hrs 37min 30sec
10. Ronan Chabot (FRA)/Gilles Pillot (FRA) Toyota Hilux Overdrive 42hrs 48min 12sec