Lima, Peru - Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah, driving a South African built Toyota Hilux, took the 2019 Dakar Rally lead after Monday’s first timed stage between Lima and Pisco, while South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers brought the second Gazoo Hilux home in sixth place overall.
Al-Attiyah secured a lead of almost two minutes over Carlos Sainz (X-Raid Mini) during the 84km stage through the dunes, with Jakub Przygonski finishing just a second behind his X-raid team-mate, with Vladimir Vasilyev and Yazeed Al Rajhi taking fourth and fifth respectively.
"It was quite a short start to the rally but quite difficult. We tried to catch Carlos over the last 10 km from the finish," said Al-Attiyah.
De Villiers, navigated by Dirk von Zitzewitz, came in 2m40s behind team-mate Al-Attiyah, electing not to push too hard on the opening stage:
“There’s very little time to be made on such a relatively short stage, but even a small mistake can put you on the back foot for the remainder of the race,” De Villiers said.