January 13, 2020

Fernando-Alonso_Stage8-Dakar-Rally-2020_Toyota-GAZOO-Racing_Eurol-Lubricants

Eurol in Dakar: Heavy and difficult dunes

Within the GAZOO Team, the leading roles were reversed today. Now it was Fernando Alonso who scored his first podium place in a Dakar stage, while De Villiers finished fourth. Nasser Al-Attiyah had a harder time with an eleventh place, but still was more than three minutes ahead of the leader of the general classification. First place is now only 6 minutes and 40 seconds away from the second place of the Qatari.

In their Toyota Hilux, Bernhard ten Brinke and Tom Colsoul rode a large part of the eighth Dakar stage together with the fastest four drivers in the car classification. Although troubled by minor problems along the way, the Toyota team finished the special over 477 km in a good seventh place, 10 minutes and 19 seconds from the day winner. "Just like yesterday we went very fast on some parts, but today we had to go through another type of dune. Heavier and more difficult ones, "says Bernhard ten Brinke. At the finish a stone appeared to have hit an oil pipe, causing the factory Totota to lose its precious Eurol engine oil. Bernhard ten Brinke: "To avoid any risks, Giniel De Villiers towed us to the bivouac. It characterises the team spirit at Toyota GAZOO Racing."

Stage 8 footage

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Trucks

In the truck classification Riwald's Pascal de Baar again was the fastest Dutchman. Today he finished just outside the Top 10. This result once again shows how incredibly fast is being driven in this class. Gert Huzink and navigator Rob Buursen drove the stage together again, with the absence of their mechanic Martin Roesink. As a result, driving the stages mainly remains a matter of cautious driving for them. For Martin van den Brink of Mammoet Rallysport it was a difficult day. After a couple of good results in the last few days, the upward trend was roughly broken down by a technical problem in the driveline. At the time of writing they are still in the dunes, but they are working hard to try to get the truck going again.

Fantastic ranking

Kees Koolen arrived in eighth place today, a fantastic ranking just 19 minutes from stage winner Varela. Going much faster remains difficult, because the SuperB Can Am has its limitations. Koolen about that yesterday: "On the straights we ride as fast as the belt (of the variomatic) allows, up to 110-111 degrees Celcius. From 113 it breaks. That means we drive large parts at 40-50% of the throttle position".

Peter van Merksteijn had a great day in a great twelfth place, his best result so far. Tim & Tom Coronel secured another finish well before dark. Great news, you might think, but yesterday the twins said they find those days a bit boring, although they raced "flat out" over the fast stage with The Beast.

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