January 2, 2022

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Eurol in Dakar 2022: Al-Attiyah tops the timesheets on first stage in Dakar

Nasser Al-Attiyah has taken a commanding stage win on Sunday. The first major stage of the race brought big difficulties for many competitors, but Al-Attiyah benefitted from the circumstances in the loop stage around Ha’il. 

After the prologue win on Saturday the Toyota Gazoo Racing ace chose to start in P10 and that helped him a lot. The competitors with the best navigation skills had the better chance to succeed and Al-Attiyah did so with his co-driver Mathieu Baumel. They were fastest in the stage and already lead the overall classification with quite a margin. "It was incredible, because it was a really tricky stage”, Al-Attiyah said after the stage. “I expected it to be more straightforward. Mathieu did an outstanding job, especially in the second part of the stage. There was a time when we saw a track that went a bit too far to the right, and he said, 'no, turn left', and then, when we got to the next waypoint, we saw we were on the right track. Then, we drove at the front with Seb and pushed hard. I'm very happy.”

Al-Attiyah

Al-Attiyah was satisfied with the way the new Toyota Hilux works and feels comfortable, despite it being a pretty new car: “The Toyota works like a charm and I'm having a blast in this T1+. It feels steady. We'll do our best, but today was a good stage for us. This is no time to race conservatively. Tomorrow will be another day, and it'll be the marathon, but I'm not seeing anyone come in, so I think it was a good day."

De Villiers, Lategan, Variawa

The stage wasn’t straightforward for everyone, although Giniel de Villiers had another solid top 10 gin the first stage. Bernhard ten Brinke lost a load of time with the Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux because of navigational issues. Shameer Variawa also lost a chunk of time, but held it together to finish the stage in P22. Henk Lategan was plagued by mechanical issues and was stopped for hours. He reached the finish in Ha’il just before sunset.

Stage 1 footage

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Trucks

Also for the Eurol supported trucks the first stage was a brutal start to the 2022 Dakar. The experienced crew with Pascal de Baar, Jan van der Vaet and Stefan Slootjes had a solid start of the rally with a P10 on the first stage. They offered help to Gert Huzink, who was struggling with technical issues during the stage.

Mammoet Team De Rooy Iveco

The Van den Brink family went through the stage pretty much without problems. Martin van den Brink finished in P11 while his son Mitchel ended in P13 after another good day behind the wheel of the Iveco.

Footage