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EXCLUSIVE: Toyota Gazoo Racing speaks on 'unusually fast' Stage 2

2017-01-04 07:37

WORLD'S TOUGHEST RACE: SA team Toyota Gazoo Racing speaks on Stage 2 of the 2017 Dakar Rally. Image: AFP / Franck Fife

Argentina - South Africa's Toyota Gazoo Racing speak on the high-speed action following Stage 2 of the 2017 Dakar Rally.

Average speeds at the Dakar rally usually ranges from 90-100km/h but Stage 2 saw an average speed of 120km/h! This is pretty fast considering the terrain.

The stage was won by Peugeot driver Sebastien Loeb, with day 1 winner, Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing) second.

Team principal, Glyn Hall, and driver Giniel de Villiers gave some insight into how the day's events unfolded. 

Working in soaring heat

Hall: "It’s 43° here in Tucuman and both cars are in. No real problems today. The stage was really unexpectedly faster than we thought it was going to be, so it was a real Peugeot stage.

"Nasser was 1min20 behind (Sebastien) Loeb (Peugeot), who was pushing very hard, and Giniel just 50sec behind Nasser - which I think was pretty good.

READ: Dakar 2017 - Toyota SA continues solid performance in Stage 2

"And we got Nani (Roma) there, another minute behind Giniel and (Stefan) Peterhansel (Peugeot) - who is always a dark threat - 6min30 back. So, I think the big relief for me today is the fact that both cars are here. Especially Nasser’s car after we had to do quite a lot of work on it last night. And everything’s running well.

"There’s no real problems reported from either driver. It’s a case of checking the cars and getting everybody into bed. I think it was 3.30am last night for the team and it was still 35° at 12am. So it was incredibly hot. And 28° this morning when we were just leaving the camp.

"Really tough on the lads, but we’ve got a great team and everybody seems happy. Nasser, I think, was a bit disappointed not to have won the stage when I saw him. But when he thought about it and how fast it was, it was definitely a Peugeot day and Loeb pushing to the limit."

READ: Dakar 2017 - Team Toyota SA wins opening stage

De Villiers: "Very, very fast stage. Not really suited to us, for the Peugeot’s definitely. The first 100km very bumpy - big ditches and quite dangerous, actually - and the second part was just very, very fast. So happy not to have lost more time than that to the Peugeot’s. And it looks like we’re going at a good speed, so we’ll just have to see tomorrow what happens at the altitude, but so far so good."

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