Saudi Press

Saudi Arabia and the world
Friday, Feb 03, 2023

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

Saudi Press
Close
0:00
0:00
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
Shell reports highest profits in 115 years
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Saudi FM discusses Kingdom’s economy, oil, Iran and US ties in Davos
Israelis rally in three cities against Netanyahu legal reforms
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Saudi Arabia plans to use domestic uranium for nuclear fuel
Mohammed Bin Salman chosen most influential Arab leader of 2022
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
United Arab Emirates says it will teach Holocaust in schools
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Saudi Arabia’s female ambassadors: Who are the five women representing the Kingdom?
Almubarak named ‘The Best Central Bank Governor of the Year 2023 for the Middle East’
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Dubai announces $8.7 trillion economic plan to boost trade, investment and global hub status
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
×