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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

De Mevius takes shock win for Overdrive Toyota

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De Mevius, who sat a distant thirty second after Friday’s Prologue, made speedy features over the course of the 414km check between Al-’Ula and Al Henakiyah to overtake Mattias Ekstrom after which Carlos Sainz Sr (each Audi) to say his first-ever stage victory in Dakar.

It was in a single day chief Ekstrom who held the highest spot within the early a part of the primary particular, constructing a lead of over two minutes by the fourth checkpoint on the 170km mark.

Nevertheless, he started to come back beneath strain from a speedy Sainz within the center a part of the particular, shedding eight minutes relative to the Spaniard within the 56km stretch between checkpoints 5 and 6.

Mevius was additionally capable of make the most of Ekstrom’s hassle to leap to second place, earlier than surging forward of Sainz on the subsequent timed marker to grab the lead. 

The Belgian’s margin on the end line was 1m44s, as he celebrated a stage victory in solely his maiden look in Dakar’s Final class after his 2023 bow in T3 equipment.

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Sainz needed to accept second spot on a day Audi regarded to have the stage win within the bag, though he was the one driver to complete anyplace near Mevius.

Picture by: Pink Bull Content material Pool

#207 Staff Audi Sport Audi RS Q e-tron E2: Mattias Ekstrom, Emil Bergkvist

Third-place Giniel de Villiers was labeled almost 10 minutes behind the Overdrive driver on the finish of the day’s run, the works Toyota driver catapulting himself from seventh with a high quality run within the final 100km stretch to the end line. 

Fourth place went to Vaidotas Zala within the X-Raid Mini, whereas former Le Mans 24 Hours winner Romain Dumas accomplished an uncommon high 5 within the Rebel-entered Toyota Hilux.

Dumas led manufacturing unit Toyota duo Lucas Moraes and Man Botterill, who completed simply 14 seconds aside in sixth and seventh, whereas native hero Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Overdrive) made it six Hilux pick-ups inside the highest 10 with a time similar to Botterill.

Behind Al-Rajhi, Mathieu Serradori was a stable ninth for the Century Racing Staff, whereas Ekstrom’s troubles noticed him slip to tenth within the provisional timesheet as he haemorrhaged quarter-hour to winner de Mevius.

Nevertheless, the large losers of the day had been Loeb and Al-Attiyah, who each bumped into issues in a serious upset for his or her Prodrive workforce.

Each Loeb and Al-Attiyah had been shedding time to the frontrunners from the start of the stage, dropping exterior the highest 10 simply 87km into the day’s operating. They’d lose extra time because the stage progressed, with even a top-20 end wanting unlikely as plenty of drivers leapfrogged them within the standings.

Ultimately, Loeb would simply hold on to twentieth place within the provisional order, however a 22-minute deficit to make up within the remaining 11 phases over the following two weeks.

Defending champion Al-Attiyah fared even worse on his swap from Toyota to Prodrive, the Qatari driver ending up twenty second within the desk with a 25-minute margin to the entrance.

Dakar victory report holder Stephane Peterhansel additionally had a tough day within the third of the three Audi RS Q e-trons as he was labeled twenty fourth, one other eight minutes off the lead.

Opponents will full a fair longer 463km stage to Al Duwadimi on Sunday, getting their first style of the dunes after tackling a terrain largely comprising sand and grime on Saturday.

Provisional classification after Stage 1 (High 10):




Time / hole


Guillaume de Mevius




Carlos Sainz




Giniel de Villiers




Vaidotas Zala




Romain Dumas




Lucas Moraes




Man Botterill




Yazeed Al Rajhi




Mathieu Serradori




Mattias Ekstrom




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