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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Sainz retakes lead after Al-Rajhi’s retirement

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Al-Rajhi dropped out of the combat for victory when he crashed into a dune at the start of the 48-hour chrono stage, struggling extreme injury to his Toyota Hilux. 

The Saudi’s troubles labored a deal with for Sainz, who had already jumped Nasser Al-Attiyah within the early hours of the day, to reclaim the lead within the general standings on an exceptionally sturdy day for Audi.

The 48-hour chrono stage that started on Thursday is a brand new innovation by Dakar organiser ASO through which drivers have to finish a distance of 549km (shortened from 579km) over two days with out receiving any exterior help from their groups. 

However as a substitute of the schedule merely being divided into two days primarily based on distance, drivers need to cowl as a lot floor as they probably can earlier than 4pm, earlier than halting on the subsequent out there bivouac.

With seven biouvacs unfold over lots of of kilometres, and every driver setting off for the stage at a unique time, that meant that not everybody ended up on the identical halting spot for the night time.

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Though Sainz solely made it so far as Bivouac D, he was nonetheless the provisional stage and general chief on the finish of the day, having lined the primary 398km with a time of 5h22m00s.

Sainz led from the very entrance in Empty Quarter, one of many world’s largest sand deserts, slowly however steadily extending his lead over the chasing pack led by team-mate Stephane Peterhansel after which Mattias Ekstrom.

At one level, Sainz’s benefit to Ekstrom stretched to over 5 minutes, however the Swede was capable of minimize the again within the closing sections to finish up 4m31s adrift at Bivouac D.

Photograph by: Crimson Bull Content material Pool

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

Whereas Sainz and Ekstrom celebrated a 1-2 for Audi on the mid-point of Stage 6, it wasn’t all clean crusing for the German producer as Peterhansel was hit with quite a lot of technical issues that despatched him tumbling down the order. He had misplaced practically two hours by the point he reached Bivouac B.

That meant that it was Prodrive’s Sebastien Loeb who ended the day third within the order, 5m19s down on Sainz, after a aggressive displaying through which he remained in the identical ballpark because the leaders.

With Al-Rajhi out of the combat, the most effective Toyota runner on Stage 6 was manufacturing unit driver Lucas Moraes in fourth, though he misplaced 19m15s to the entrance over the course of the day.

Eryk Goczal was a shock fifth in his Taurax Max T3 class entry, the Polish driver even beating the Prodrive automotive of reigning champion Nasser Al-Attiyah.

The Qatari driver didn’t need to lead out entrance within the absence of a observe left by bike riders, who adopted a unique route on Thursday, and dropped eight minutes within the first 49km. He wasn’t even inside the highest 40 at this level of the stage.

Fastidiously navigating his approach up the pack, Al-Attiyah was capable of climb to sixth place by Bivouac D, earlier than stopping on the subsequent halting level later within the stage.

#206 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR DKR Hilux: Lucas Moraes, Armand Monleon

Photograph by: Crimson Bull Content material Pool

#206 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR DKR Hilux: Lucas Moraes, Armand Monleon

Nevertheless, he misplaced 24 minutes to arch rival Sainz within the course of, leaving him with a mountain to climb within the second a part of the stage on Thursday.

Overdrive Toyota’s Guerlain Chicherit, who additionally made it to Bivouac E, was provisionally labeled seventh forward of Senth Quintero within the manufacturing unit Toyota Hilux.

Within the digital general standings, Sainz now holds a wholesome 15-minute lead over team-mate Ekstrom, though a comparability between the 2 isn’t honest as they stopped at completely different bivouacs for the night time.

Al-Attiyah sits third general, 21m41s, adrift of Sainz, whereas Prodrive stablemate Loeb is an additional quarter-hour behind in fourth.

Moraes is now Toyota’s high consultant in fifth, however properly over one hour behind the Audi of Sainz. 

Provisional classification after Stage 6A (Biouvac D):




Time / hole


Carlos Sainz




Mattias Ekstrom




Nasser Al-Attiyah




Sebastien Loeb




Lucas Moraes




Guillaume de Mevius




Mathieu Serradori




Giniel de Villiers




Martin Prokop




Man Botterill



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