Arab Press

بالشعب و للشعب
Friday, Mar 01, 2024

Al-Attiyah closes in on Sainz with Dakar 2023 Stage 2 win, Loeb suffers punctures

Toyota's Nasser Al-Attiyah overturned a 1m34s deficit to Erik van Loon on the final split of the 430km Sea Camp to Alula stage, the fourth-longest stage of the 2023 Dakar, to win Monday's contest by 14s from the Overdrive entrant.
The stage win promoted the Qatari driver and co-driver Mathieu Baumel to second place, 2m12s behind Audi's Carlos Sainz in the overall classification.

“It was absolutely the time to attack and drive a good stage. It was not an easy day because I am sure a lot of problems will happen today because there were a lot of rocks and the navigation wasn’t easy.

“I’m really quite happy to make day two a good stage. We had one flat tire, one puncture at the beginning, but after that we tried to be really careful in the stony places.

“In the sand we pushed and I’m quite happy. I was thinking the start of the race would be very easy but it was really tricky, you know — well done to the organizers,” Al-Attiyah said.

Sainz was first on the course fresh from his opening stage win Sunday and faced arguably the toughest of the conditions leading the pack from the sandy shores across rock-covered mountains and narrow pathways.

The three-time Dakar Rally winner took third on the stage behind Al-Attiyah and van Loon, ending the day having conceded 5m05s to Al-Attiyah.

But Loeb was the biggest loser of the day, as three punctures saw the Bahrain Raid Xtreme driver bleed time to his rivals.

The nine-time World Rally Championship title-winner dropped 1hr26m38s on the second stage to Al-Attiyah, dropping him from second place to outside of the top 30.

"It was a really bad day for us. We lost a lot of time with three punctures," Loeb said. "For me, there was absolutely no pleasure in the driving. It was really bad with a lot of stones.

"It was just a question of going very slow and trying to avoid a puncture. That was the only goal of the stage and in the end, we had three.

"We had to try and repair one of the tires and it took us a long time."

With Audi duo Stephane Peterhansel and Mattias Ekstrom — the latter given a 15-minute penalty for missing a waypoint on the opening stage — also hitting early trouble, the battle for victory is already emerging between Sainz and Al-Attiyah.

The pair have moved almost 25 minutes clear of nearest rival Mathieu Serrardori, who is third overall for Century Racing having ended the second stage in fourth place.

Serrardori is just 45s up on surprise package Simon Vitse in fourth overall for MD Rally, after a two-minute penalty for Giniel de Villiers restricted the Toyota driver to fifth in the general classification.

Yazeed Al-Rajhi continued his solid start to the 2023 event in the privateer Overdrive entry to take sixth overall, ahead of Orlen Benzina's Martin Prokop and Audi's Peterhansel.

Brian Baragwanath for Century and Toyota's Henk Lategan round out the top 10 in the overall classification, with second-stage star van Loon moving up to 13th.

Winding across some of the most spectacular landscape the Dakar has ever seen, the 430km second stage from Sea Camp to Alula proved to be a punishing test.

On a day when hard rock shredded tires and left a string of casualties along the way, Loeb and Fabian Lurquin slipped from second place overnight, just ten seconds off the lead, to 26th in provisional results following a long-enforced halt in the desert.

Loeb’s three BRX teammates, Guerlain Chicherit, Orly Terranova and Vaidotas Zala, were also on the receiving end of a typically tortuous Dakar day.

Chicherit and Alex Winocq, starting the day in fourth place, just over two minutes off the lead, suffered a series of early punctures in their Prodrive Hunter, leaving them short of a spare wheel, and dropped from contention when forced to carry out emergency repairs.

Argentinian Terranova and Spaniard Alex Haro, who began the day lying fifth in their BRX Prodrive Hunter, endured their own succession of punctures to complete the leg 19th in the provisional standings, with Zala and Paulo Fiuza also dropping down the field.

Punctures were always a threat on the stage from Sea Camp to Alula, with the tracks featuring a number of rocky sections as the route swept through glorious canyons, at times offering views of distant Nabataean temples.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Arab Press
0:00
0:00
Close
China Criticizes US for Vetoing UN Ceasefire Resolution in Gaza
Saudi Arabia ranks first in UN index for e-government services in MENA
Israel Records 20% Drop In GDP, War In Gaza Is The Reason
Saudi Arabia's FDI Inflows Grow with New International Standards
Venture Capitals Power Up Across MENA Region
PM Modi Announces Opening Of New CBSE Office In Dubai
January Funding for MENA Startups Totals $86.5 Million
Saudi Arabia accelerates digital economy growth through Nvidia partnership
Israel unveils tunnels underneath Gaza City headquarters of UN agency for Palestinian refugees
Israel deploys new military AI in Gaza war
Egypt threatens to suspend key peace treaty if Israel pushes into Gaza border town, officials say
Saudi Arabia Warns Of A "Humanitarian Catastrophe" If Israel Moves On Rafah
US University To Shut Qatar Campus Due To "Heightened Mideast Instability"
Facebook and Instagram Ban Iran's Supreme Leader
Defense Technology Showcase Held in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports rise 2.5% to $6bn in November 2023: GASTAT
Rolls-Royce Executive Encourages Saudi Women to Tap into Their Inner 'Superhero' for Success in Defense Industry
Saudi Arabia launches National Academy of Vehicles and Cars
Saudi Tourism Minister Reveals Plan for 250,000 New Hotel Rooms by 2030
SAR to more than double eastern network passenger capacity with new trains deal
Saudi Arabia Enhances National Defense with New Partnerships
Saudi Aramco Maintains Arab Light Crude Pricing to Asia for March
NEOM Establishes New York Office to Support Investors
Saudi Wealth Fund Draws in Over $25 Billion Worth of Investments in Three Years, Al-Rumayyan Reveals
The Saudi Kingdom's Ultimatum to Israel: A Win-Win Peace with Saudi Arabia and the Arab World, or a Lose-Lose Continued Occupation and Endless Conflict
Biden condemns anti-Arab hate after WSJ opinion piece calls Dearborn ‘jihad capital’
Turkey Releases Seven Hostages Captured by Pro-Gaza Gunman
Arab Parliament Commends Women's Contributions to Societal Development
British and Hungarian Foreign Ministers visited Lebanese leaders to stress the importance of enacting UN Resolution 1701
Yemen's Houthis Say They Targeted British Merchant Vessel In Red Sea
Donald Trump Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for 'Historic' Middle East Policy
US lawmakers approve F-16 jet sale to Turkey following NATO expansion support
Saudi Arabia Climbs 25 Places in World Bank's National Statistics Indicator
Tourism Growth in Saudi Arabia Fuels Advancements in the Hospitality Industry," Says Rotana Official
Houthi Rebels Request Departure of UN Staff from Yemen, Including US and UK Personnel, within a Month
Modi Inaugurates Hindu Temple on Site of Demolished Mosque in India
Over 25,000 Deaths in Gaza Amid Israeli Offensive
Escalating Clashes in Gaza as Israel Distributes Leaflets to Assist in Locating Hostages
Turkey's First Astronaut Set to Launch for International Space Station Today
Head of Palestinian Investment Fund Warns More People May Die of Hunger Than War in Gaza
Palestinian Envoy Criticizes UK for Alleged 'Double Standards' in Policies Toward Israel
Morocco to Lead UN Human Rights Council in 2024
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Egypt has been identified as the leading military force among Arab nations and ranks 15th globally
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Iranian Nobel Laureate Narges Mohammadi Receives Additional Prison Sentence
"Gazans Urge Israeli Forces to Target Hamas in Leaked Audio"
Biden States US and UK Airstrikes on Houthis Were a 'Defensive Action
Large Pro-Palestine Rally in London as Gaza Conflict Hits Day 100
South Africa Urges World Court to Halt Israeli Actions in Gaza
×