ADDC 2023: Disappointment in Abu Dhabi for Lategan/Cummings as boost issue curtails their progress
1st on Stage 2 for Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel
Overall lead of 12min 14sec for Nasser and Mathieu
Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings forced to retire with boost-related issue
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA’s Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings fell foul to a boost-related issue in their GR DKR Hilux T1+ during Stage 2 of the 2023 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, and they elected to return to the bivouac in order to affect repairs in preparation for tomorrow’s stage. They incurred the standard penalty of 5h, effectively removing them from contention. This is a disappointing result, given that they were in third overall after Stage 1 of the race. The technical crew will prepare the GR DKR Hilux T1+ in preparation for Stage 3, and the crew will continue to fight for stage victories over the remainder of the race.
Henk Lategan: “We were very pleased with our performance yesterday, and were looking forward to building on our position during Stage 2. Unfortunately, we experienced an issue with our turbo boost shortly after starting the stage. We stopped to investigate and tried to find the fault, but in the end, we elected to return to the bivouac rather than risk damage to the engine. The technical crew has sorted the issue, and we’re looking forward to racing in Stage 3 of this amazing event.”
Stage 2 of the 2023 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge saw the crews complete a road section of 106km from the bivouac at Qasr Al Sarab, before taking on a timed section of 257km, bringing them back to the bivouac. The terrain consisted largely of dunes, with sections of sandy tracks in between.
A second consecutive stage win marked Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel’s progress at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. The pair started the stage as the first car on the road, but despite the challenge of finding the route, they brought their Dakar-winning GR DKR Hilux T1+ to the finish in a time of 3h 33min 39sec – well clear of their nearest competitors.
For Nasser and Mathieu, the day posed no problems, as they dealt with tricky navigation and challenging terrain on their way to a second consecutive stage win. Their nearest competitors were again Yazeed Al Rajhi and co-driver Timo Gottschalk, in a privately entered Toyota Hilux T1+. Their deficit to the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing crew was 12min 14sec. At the same time, Nasser and Mathieu’s win netted them another 5 points in the World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC), thereby increasing their lead over their nearest competitors to 8 points.
Stage 3 follows next, and will see the crews complete a road section of just 2km from the bivouac at Qasr Al Sarab, before taking on a special stage of 266km. As before, the terrain is expected to comprise largely of dunes and sandy tracks. A short liaison of 35km will bring the crews back to the bivouac. The 2023 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge will conclude on Friday, 3 March, after five tough stages.
Source Toyota South Africa