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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Loeb’s Dakar victory hopes finish with mechanical points on Stage 11

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The 420km check between Al-‘Ula and Yanbu was anticipated to be one of many hardest phases of 2024, because it ran by among the areas that precipitated so many punctures in final yr’s version of the rally-raid.

Loeb had been making an attempt to overtake Audi’s Carlos Sainz for the lead when an issue developed on the right-front triangle of his Hunter after a stone hit, leaving him stranded 132km into the stage.

After ready for about 20 minutes, the organisation reported that the nine-time World Rally champion had requested for help crew to reach and rescue him from Stage 11.

“Sebastien Loeb and his co-pilot Fabian Lurquin have been stopped at kilometer 132 for about twenty minutes,” it mentioned.

“Sebastien Loeb has been halted at 132 km on account of damaged entrance right-hand A-arm. The Frenchman is reported to have requested his help to select him up and exit the particular. He’ll be capable to take starter’s orders tomorrow, however the combat for total victory is over”.

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In accordance with the Bahrain Raid Excessive group, Loeb broken his suspension following a brutal touchdown after a bounce, however managed to restore the damaged half because of the assistance of the YunXiang China T1+ group’s Hunter crew.

Though Loeb was initially anticipated to withdraw from the day and head again to the bivouac, the suspension injury on his automotive was repaired in time for him to participate within the the rest of the stage.

Picture by: Audi Communications Motorsport

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As much as that time, the Frenchman had misplaced a couple of seconds to Sainz, who held a cushty lead of 13m22s going into the penultimate stage.

Whereas Loeb’s probabilities of a victory in 2024 had been already sporting thin, the difficulty has now formally despatched him out of reckoning in his eighth look on the occasion.

It additionally means Sainz is now properly on his method to a 3rd victory on Dakar, with the next-best automotive of manufacturing unit Toyota driver Lucas Moraes trailing him by greater than an hour.

Sainz may name on his Audi team-mates Stephane Peterhansel and Mattias Ekstrom for assist, with each beginning behind the stage him to cowl the Spaniard in case of a puncture.

Loeb has hadn’t this luxurious since team-mate Nasser Al-Attiyah withdrew from the rally on Wednesday along with his personal set of points with the Prodrive. On Stage 10, Loeb picked up two punctures and in addition misplaced time with a problem with the jack, forcing him to drop his automotive right into a small gap to boost the other nook. 

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