Solid performances see Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Crews 1st and 2nd in the rally of Morocco

All three Toyota Gazoo Racing SA crews reported solid performances on Stage 1 of the 2018 Rally of Morocco.

Rally du Maroc STAGE 1
Image Supplied by Toyota South Africa

Despite some tough challenges on the 194 km that made up the first real test of the rally, Bernhard ten Brinke (Netherlands) and French co-driver Xavier Panseri initially set the fastest time, but they were docked 20 minutes for missing a waypoint.

The pair set a time of 02:28:51 over the 194 km stage, which was divided into two roughly equal sections. This was 24 seconds quicker than the time posted by Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel (France), who lost time when they had to replace a wishbone on their Toyota Hilux mid-stage.

Al Attiyah/Baumel started the stage on a charge, and caught up with the car ahead of them – Martin Prokop (Ford) – after just 30 km. They bent a lower control arm in the dust, and it subsequently broke roughly 25 km from the end of the first part of the stage.

“The crew opted to drive slowly to the end of the section and change to an emergency spare during the liaison to the next part of the stage,”

explained Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall, from the city of Erfoud after the stage.

“They managed to get to the start of the second section with seconds to spare, and then regained all the time they had lost earlier despite driving on a light-weight version of the control arm to the finish.”

With teammates Ten Brinke/Panseri losing 20 minutes due to a missed waypoint, however, Al Attiyah/Baumel not only emerged as the victors of Stage 1 in the final results, but also retained their overall lead in the rally.

Giniel de Villiers (RSA) and co-driver Alex Winocq (France) set the fourth-fastest time on the stage, finishing just 01:11 behind Martin Prokop in his Ford. De Villiers lost time hunting for a waypoint, which was compounded when he had to change a tyre on his race car after a puncture in the second section of Stage 1.

“Giniel did really well to reel in the time lost on the stage today,”

continued Hall.

“With a bit of luck, he could’ve ended the day in the lead, but we’re more than happy to have Nasser in the overall lead, with Giniel in second place.”

Significantly, all three Toyota Gazoo Racing SA crews finished ahead of the MINI armada, with Jakub Przygonksi the quickest of them in fifth place – 01:41 behind De Villiers/Winocq. This, however, was before Ten Brinke/Panseri’s penalty was applied.

Stage 2 of the Rally of Morocco follows on October 6th, and features a circular route that starts and ends in the Moroccan town of Erfoud. The racing distance for Stage 2 is 329 km, and there is a liaison of 36 km, bringing the total distance for the day to 365 km. The terrain for Stage 2 is a mixed bag, with stony river beds, sand and small dunes. The rally finishes on October 9th, back in the city of Fes, after covering 1,362 km of special stage racing.

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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