Jan 4, 2022

  • Second-fastest time for Henk/Brett on Stage 3
  • Good result for Nasser/Mathieu, increasing overall lead
  • Steady progress for Giniel/Dennis as they go 7th-fastest on the stage
  • Progress for Shameer/Danie, with a Top 20 stage result

A power performance by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings saw the South Africans post the second-fastest time on Stage 3 of the 2022 Dakar Rally. The Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+ crew are still in 38th position overall, after losing more than three hours in Stage 1B, but their pace today proved that the pair is a force to be reckoned with, despite a challenging third stage.

The stage was shortened to 255km due to localised flooding on the first part of the timed section, forcing the organisers to start the stage at Control Point 1 (CP1). This meant a long liaison of 214km prior to the start, followed by a tricky stage with many dunes before another liaison of 166km that brought the crews back to the bivouac at Al Qaisumah.

Henk and Brett drove a perfect stage, and came through puncture-free. They pushed their own limits in the early parts of the stage, but reigned in the pace somewhat towards the finish, not taking any chances. Their tenacity saw them arrive at the finish just 38sec behind the stage winners, and while they remain in 38th position, they are quickly closing in on the crews ahead of them. They’ll be the second car into Stage 4 – the longest of the rally – which is sure to test them once again.

Rally leaders, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel, recorded the 8th-fastest time on Stage 3, surrendering 5min 10sec to the stage winners. However, they gained time over their nearest rivals in the overall standings and increased their lead to 37min 40sec. They’ll be the well-position to attack on Stage 4, thanks to their road position as the 8th car into the stage.

Stage 3 was also a good one for Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy. The pair brought the Hilux home 4min 10sec behind the stage winners. This was good enough for 7th place on the day, and while they remain in 4th place overall, they are now within three minutes of the crew ahead of them.

Shameer Variawa and Danie Stassen recorded a steady performance on Stage 3, after their disappointment on the previous stage, where they struggled with a loss of power after a sensor change. They posted the 19th-best time of the day, despite starting well down the order, where traffic was an issue. The pair carved their way through the field, ending 15min 18sec behind the stage winners. As a result, they’ll start Stage 4 much higher up the order, with a two-minute dust gap, giving them the opportunity to further consolidate their position in the race. They are in 25th place overall after the first three stages, 2hr 16min 22sec adrift of the lead.

At 707km in total, Stage 4 will be the longest of Dakar 2022, and will see the rally move from the bivouac at Al Qaisumah to the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. A timed section of 465 km will be combined with liaisons of 242km, and the terrain is expected to be more hard pack than dunes. Two looped stages follow, with the rally reaching its mid-point on Saturday, January 8th.


Glyn Hall, Team Principal: “Stage 3 was a really good one for all our crews. Henk and Brett did us proud by going second-fastest, after leading for most of the stage. Nasser and Mathieu are controlling the race from the front, and did exactly what was needed in the circumstances. At the same time, Giniel and Dennis put in a strong performance, and cemented their position in 4th place overall. And finally, Shameer and Dennis had a clean run, after the challenges they faced on Stage 2. They pushed hard and passed many cars in the stage, bringing themselves into the Top 20 for the stage. This will give them a good starting position on Stage 4, and we’re confident that they’ll have another good day.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah: “Yes, it was a good stage again today and we made up more time over Sebastien (Loeb). We saw him about 40km in and it was clear that he had had a problem. This made us change our strategy for the day somewhat, and we decided just to concentrate on keeping it clean and tidy. Tomorrow will be a good stage again, especially with our road position. But it is also the longest stage of the rally, so we certainly can’t relax.”

Giniel de Villiers: “We had a nice clean stage today. It was very fast in places, with some very nice dune crossings in places. While there were some tricky spots, the stage was fast and enjoyable for the most parts. We’re happy with our performance today, but would also like to congratulate Henk and Brett on a really strong performance.”

Henk Lategan: “It was a really nice stage for us today. Especially the beginning of the timed section offered super nice, smooth and flowing at high speed. So, I was really enjoying myself in the first part of the stage, feeling comfortable and confident. I might have extended myself a bit early on, but I pulled it back a bit towards the end as we got to some very tricky dunes. I just didn’t feel confident enough to push over that section, like the more experienced guys do. We decided to bring the car home safely, and we’ll try again tomorrow. From what I hear it will be a very long and tricky day, especially with our starting position as the second car on the road.”

Shameer Variawa: “After yesterday’s problems, we started today’s stage in 69th or 70th position. We decided to focus on the stage rather than the overall race, and simply tried to do our best. We overtook a lot of cars along the way, and we were happy to finish in 19th place. Tomorrow we’ll be with the faster crews again, so it should be a better day for us.”

Stage 3 Results:

1. Sainz (ESP) / Cruz (ESP) Team Audi Sport 2hr 26min 51sec

2. Lategan (ZAF) / Cummings (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +38sec

3. Peterhansel (FRA) / Boulanger (FRA) Team Audi Sport +1min 41sec

4. Roma (ESP) / Bravo (ESP) BRX Prodrive Hunter +2min 41sec

5. Ekstrom (SWE) / Bergkvist (SWE) Team Audi Sport +2min 59sec

7. De Villiers (ZAF) / Murphy (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +4min 10sec

8. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / Baumel (AND) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +5min 10sec

19. Variawa (ZAF) / Stassen (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +15min 18sec

Rankings after Stage 3:

1. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / Baumel (AND) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux 9hr 31min 22sec

2. Loeb (FRA) / Lurquin (BEL) BRX Prodrive Hunter +37min 40sec

3. Alvarez (ARG) / Monleon (ESP) Benzina Orlen Toyota Hilux +42min 06secc

4. De Villiers (ZAF) / Murphy (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +45min 22sec

5. Al Rajhi (SAU) / Orr (GBR) Overdrive Toyota +47min 29sec

25. Variawa (ZAF) / Stassen (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +2hr 16min 22sec

38. Lategan (ZAF) / Cummings (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +3hr 26min 06sec


Jan 3, 2022

  • Second-fastest time for Nasser/Mathieu despite opening route
  • Solid performances by Henk/Brett as well as Giniel/Dennis

Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel posted the second-fastest time on Stage 2 of the 2022 Dakar Rally, losing 3min 28sec to the stage winners. The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing crew launched their Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+ into the stage as the first car on the road, but managed to restrict their time loss despite a puncture mid-stage.

Stage 2 was meant to be the Marathon Stage for Dakar 2022, but a flooded bivouac in Al Artawiyah forced the organisers to reroute the rally to the bivouac at Al Qaisumah. The day’s stage consisted of 338km of sand and dunes, with liaisons of 183km and 270km on either side of the timed section. The crews described the stage as ‘very fast’, with plenty of blind drops that made it easy to make a mistake.

This did not stop Giniel de Villiers and co-driver Dennis Murphy from recording the 8th-fastest time on the day. The Toyota Hilux crew lost 11min 17sec during Stage 2, changing a tyre just 30km into the stage after a close call that saw the car land awkwardly after a high-speed jump. They moved up into 4th place in the overall results thanks to today’s performance, and are now just 29sec behind the crew in third place.

The second stage saw Henk Lategan and co-driver Brett Cummings consolidate, after the pair lost more than three hours on the opening stage. Steady progress by the South Africans meant that they went 7th-fastest on the day, leap-frogging several competitors to move up into 38th position overall.

Shameer Variawa and Danie Stassen experienced some bad luck on Stage 2, when their Toyota Hilux struggled for power following a sensor change after Stage 1. The pair brought the car home in 28th position, losing 33min 22sec as a result. This puts them in 25th place in the overall standings, 1hr 51min 14sec behind teammates Nasser and Mathieu.

Stage 3 will see the crews complete a looped stage, starting and finishing at the bivouac in Al Qaisumah. The stage will consist of similar terrain to that of Stage 2, and will be contested over a timed section of 255km. The pre-stage liaison will be 214km, with a section of 167km bringing the crews back to the bivouac. Nasser and Mathieu will be the second car into the stage, giving them a slight advantage over their starting position in Stage 2.


Glyn Hall, Team Principal: “Stage 2 allowed the Dakar to settle down a bit, with fewer upsets and drama than on the opening stage. Nasser and Mathieu opened the road, and did a great job to finish second, despite suffering a puncture. Giniel and Dennis kept it steady, though they also had one puncture; and Henk and Brett started their recovery by completing a measured, mature stage. Shameer and Danie struggled with power issues after a sensor change yesterday, but we’ll get onto that this evening, and make sure they are ready for Stage 3.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah: “I’m very happy, as we had no problems today, except for one puncture. Today we opened the road all the way, and it really wasn’t easy. There’s a lot of water out there, and the sand is quite hard. But to be leading the race after the first two stages is fantastic, and we’ll try to increase our lead a little tomorrow. And if we can win the stage, we’ll be very happy.”

Giniel de Villiers: “It was a good day for us, even though we had a big moment about 30km into the stage. The car landed sideways after a high-speed jump, and one of the rear tyres came off the rim. It was really close to rolling over, but we managed to keep it on its wheels. Other than that, it wasn’t a bad stage for us. Seb and Nasser are going at incredible speed in the front, and I’m not sure that we can go quite at that pace. Still, we can probably improve our pace a little bit, especially after banking a good stage today.”

Henk Lategan: “Stage 2 was decent for us. It was a high-speed stage with lots of blind drops, and it was quite easy to make a big mistake. But we kept it clean and tidy and didn’t take any risks. We also got through all the traffic okay, so overall a good day for us.”

Shameer Variawa: “It was a little bit disappointing today, and I really can’t believe our bad luck. But the technicians will investigate it this evening, and we’ll be ready to race again tomorrow.”

Stage 2 Results:

1. Loeb (FRA) / Lurquin (BEL) BRX Prodrive Hunter 3hr 25min 0sec

2. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / Baumel (AND) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +3min 28sec

3. Sainz (ESP) / Cruz (ESP) Team Audi Sport +5min 52sec

4. Peterhansel (FRA) / Boulanger (FRA) Team Audi Sport +7min 56sec

5. Roma (ESP) / Bravo (ESP) BRX Prodrive Hunter +8min 02sec

7. Lategan (ZAF) / Cummings (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +9min 44sec

8. De Villiers (ZAF) / Murphy (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +11min 17sec

28. Variawa (ZAF) / Stassen (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +33min 22sec

Rankings after Stage 2:

1. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / Baumel (AND) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux 6hr 59min 21sec

2. Loeb (FRA) / Lurquin (BEL) BRX Prodrive Hunter +9min 16sec

3. Alvarez (ARG) / Monleon (ESP) Benzina Orlen Toyota Hilux +40min 53sec

4. De Villiers (ZAF) / Murphy (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +41min 22sec

5. Vasilyev (RAF) / Uperenko (LVA) VRT BMW X5 +43min 39sec

25. Variawa (ZAF) / Stassen (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +1hr 51min 14sec

38. Lategan (ZAF) / Cummings (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +3hr 30min 38sec


Jan 2, 2022

  • Fastest time on prologue for Nasser and Mathieu
  • Victory on the opening stage of Dakar 2022 for Nasser and Mathieu
  • Solid performances by Giniel and Dennis; as well as Shameer and Danie
  • Disappointment for Henk and Brett after incident at 160km mark

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s Dakar 2022 campaign started with an emphatic victory on the opening stage, when Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel arrived at the finish 12min 44sec ahead of their nearest competitors. The pair made the most of their 10th position on the road, after winning the prologue on January 1st, which allowed them to select their starting position for Stage 1.

The opening stage featured 333km of sand and dunes, with challenging navigation, especially towards the latter parts of the timed section. Nasser and Mathieu managed to find the route without any problems, allowing them to build an early lead.

Stage 1 also saw TOYOTA GAZOO Racing veteran, Giniel de Villiers and co-driver Dennis Murphy, put in a solid performance. The pair were the 3rd car to start the stage, after finishing 8th on the prologue. But they soon passed the two cars ahead of them, effectively opening the route for more than 200km. This put them at a distinct disadvantage, but the Toyota Hilux crew kept pushing their own limits, and despite struggling to find the final waypoint, recorded the 7th-fastest time on the stage. This put them 33min 33sec behind Nasser and Mathieu in the overall standings, with a good road position for Stage 2.

Shameer Variawa and rookie Dakar co-driver, Danie Stassen, showed maturity and tenacity in their approach to Stage 1. They brought their Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+ home safely in 22nd position, reporting no problems with the car. Danie managed to find his way through the trickiest parts of the stage, but the pair lost some time near the finish, after doubling back on the route to collect a waypoint they had missed.

There was disappointment for Henk Lategan and co-driver Brett Cummings when the wheel studs on one of their wheels sheared off, after changing a tyre earlier in the stage. This meant that they had to recover a stud from each of the other wheels before they could continue the race. They lost 3hr 23min 46sec to the leaders as a result.

Next up would have been the Marathon Stages, which would have seen the cars race to an unsupported bivouac on Stage 2, before returning to the technical crews via Stage 3. Heavy rains, however, flooded the marathon bivouac, forcing the organisers to opt for a conventional bivouac after Stage 2. The route stretches from Hail to Al Qaisumah, via a timed section of 338km. Liaisons of 183km and 270km connect the stage to the two bivouacs. The terrain is expected to comprise of sandy tracks, hard-packed soil, and some dunes.

Dakar 2022 consist of 12 competitive stages, preceded by a prologue. A rest day is planned mid-way through the race, with the event ending on January 14th, back in the coastal city of Jeddah.


Glyn Hall, Team Principal: “Today was an emotional rollercoaster for us, as we had Henk and Brett lose hours due to a problem with one of their wheels; but at the same time Nasser and Mathieu won a really tricky opening stage. We certainly can’t complain – any day that you lead the Dakar is a good day – but we would have loved to see Henk and Brett in the Top 10. With that said, Giniel and Dennis did a sterling job, opening the road for most of the day. And Shameer and Danie put in a solid performance despite the tricky navigation.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah: “Everything went well today, and we did a good job. Mathieu was exceptional with the navigation, especially in the last part of the stage where it was very difficult. I’m very happy with the performance of our TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux, as well as the BF Goodrich tyres, and I feel we made a good start to the race today.”

Giniel de Villiers: “It was a properly tough opening stage today. Difficult places to cross, tough navigation and we were opening the route for most of the day. We caught the two crews ahead of us early on, so from then on it was even more difficult. We lost a bit of time hunting for one of the waypoints, but eventually we found the right way. Overall, we are happy, especially with the performance of the car. Now we’re looking forward to the rest, though it is still a long way to go.”

Henk Lategan: “It was a bit of an emotional day for us. Even though we started well, I made a mistake with the tyre pressures this morning, electing to run a low pressure. In the cold weather, one of our tyres came off the rim, and we had to change it. Something went wrong when we fitted the new wheel, because 100km later it came off completely. The wheel studs were broken, and we had to make major running repairs during the stage. Now, we must make a mind-shift, as our plan for the race has changed completely. Tomorrow, we’ll start with a fresh plan, and take it from there.”

Shameer Variawa: “The navigation was really tricky today, and we lost some time hunting for waypoints. However, the car ran without any problems, and while we are disappointed that we lost time, we are ready to tackle the next tough stage tomorrow.”

Stage 1 Results:

1. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / Baumel (AND) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux 3hr 30min 53sec

2. Loeb (FRA) / Lurquin (BEL) BRX Prodrive Hunter +12min 07sec

3. Prokop (CZE) / Chytka (CZE) Benzina Orlen Team Ford Raptor +21min 21sec

4. Alvarez (ARG) / Monleon (ESP) Overdrive Toyota Hilux +26min 31sec

5. Vasilyev (RUS) / Uperenko (LVA) VRT Team BMW X5 +27min 52sec

7. De Villiers (ZAF) / Murphy (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +32min 43sec

22. Variawa (ZAF) / Stassen (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +1hr 04min 50sec

57. Lategan (ZAF) / Cummings (ZAF) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Hilux +3hr 23min 46sec