Toyota's Nasser Al-Attiyah narrowed the overall gap to leader Carlos Sainz of Mini to just 34 seconds after Stage 9 of Dakar 2020.
The stage, which took competitors from Wadi Al Dawasir to Haradh, featured an intense 150 km route of rocky terrain; a different environment to the canyons and mountains of the opening stages.
The day saw a succession of close finishes with Al-Attiyah crossing the line just 15 seconds behind stage winner Stephane Peterhansel. Yasir Seaidan and Jakub Przygonski, driving private Mini X-Raids, came third and fourth respectively, less than seven minutes behind.
Toyota Gazoo’s Berhard ten Brinke, Giniel de Villiers and Fernando Alonso ended the stage in seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively. Alonso’s consistent performance over the past few staged secured him a spot in the top 10 of the overall standings.
Toyota Overdrive’s Yazeed Al Rajhi and Mini’s Orlando Terranova continued to deliver consistent performances, closing the stage in sixth and tenth, respectively.