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SA cars and crews keep on starring on Dakar Day 2

SA cars and crews keep on starring on Dakar Day 2

Toyota Gazoo Racing's Nasser Al Attiyah came from behind to deliver an ultimately crushing Dakar Day 2 victory aboard his proudly South African Hilux. He beat Mini buggy duo Stephane Peterhansel and Carlos Sainz to the win on the long and sandy run from Bisha to Wadi ad-Dawasir. South African rookies, Brian Baragwanath and Taye Perry came home a splendid eighth in their Century CR6 Corvette buggy.

There was more Southern African success on two wheels, when Botswana’s multiple SA champion rider Ross Branch brought his Yamaha home fourth on the day to move up to third overall behind that day’s winners, Joan Barreda and his Honda teammate Ricky Brabec

Qatari former triple-Dakar winner Al Attiyah powered his Hilux home to a 2 minute 35 second victory over the Minis, which had led the way for much of the day before the Toyota took over up front. Local hero Yazeen Al Rajhi ended fourth in another Hilux ahead of with Frenchman Mattieu Serradori in his South African-built Century CR6 Corvette, Sebastien Loeb, who had a far better day on his BRX Hunter in sixth

Of the South Africans, Baragwanath and Perry  came home a fine seventh while Dakar rookie SA champion Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings were 12th in their Hilux after losing time stuck on the first dune early on. Giniel de Villiers plummeted down the car order after losing 10 minutes early on and 30 more to a navigation issue later in the day and Shameer Variyawa and Dennis Murphy’s Hilux was back on track after losing over an hour in the first section.

By winning on Monday, Al Attiyah cut his deficit to Peterhansel to under 10 minutes and less than three minutes adrift of Sainz in the overall standings, with Serradori fourth and Baragwanath and Perry a splendid eighth.

On two wheels, Joan Barreda took dominant 4-minute stage win for Honda ahead of teammate Ricky Brabec, Pablo Quintanilla's Husqvarna and Botswana hero Ross Branch on the first of the Yamahas. JI Cornejo Flormino was next home on another Honda with Adrien van Beveren sixth for Yamaha. it was a disastrous day for KTM with overnight leader Toby Price losing over half an hour, Matthias Walkner stick for two hours and Sam Sunderland 22 minutes.

Barreda now leads the motorcycles, six minutes clear of Brabec, who is mere seconds clear of the 'Kalahari Ferrari' Ross Branch, Husqvarna duo Quintanilla and Xavier de Soultrait and Adrien van Beveren's Yamaha.

Dimitri Sotnikov led a Russian Kamaz 1-2 in the rucks over Airat Mardeev with Belarusian Siharei Viazovich third in a MAZ. Also at the time of writing, local Saudi hero Salif Alsaif led Reinaldo Varela and Gerard Farres-Guell in the Light Vehicles and US rider Pablo Copetti led Giovanni Enrico and Day 1 winner Alexandre Giroud in the Quads.