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What Dakar 2024 Day 6 Report
Where Shubaytah, Saudi Arabia
When Friday 12 January 2024
Community International

Drama as Loeb steals win, Nasser hits trouble

It may have been a short race to the finish of Dakar’s 48 Hour Chrono stage for the leaders, but sit was enough to shuffle the order up front and provide great drama, too. Not only did Prodrive pair Sebastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin surprise overnight leaders Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz and Mattias Ekström and Emil Bergkvist’s Audis to steal the stage win, but third overall Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel hit suspension trouble and lost well over two hours on Friday morning.

Loeb took seven minutes out of Sainz to steal the stage in the short morning section, but that did not stop Sainz from taking a 20 minute overall lead over teammate Ekstrom into Saturday’s rest day. Loeb sits a little under half an hour adrift in third overall. The bike race saw overnight Adrien van Beveren’s Honda take the stage, but teammate Ricky Brabec lost second to Toby Price’s KTM, while Botswana’s Ross Branch closed Brabec’s overall lead down to under a minute.

Attiyah’s trouble was the big news of Friday morning. That allowed Lucas Moraes and Armand Monleon’s Gazoo Hilux to snatch fourth for the stage from Guerlain Chicherit and Alex Winocq’s similar car. Martin Prokop and Viktor Chytka’s Ford Raptor was sixth from Toyota four, SA crew Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy, Guilaume de Mevius and Xavier Panseri, and de Villiers’ Gazoo teammates, Seth Quintero and Dennis Zenz and SA rookie Guy Botterill and Brett Cummings.

Nani Roma and Alex Bravo were eleventh in their SA built Ford Ranger, SA duo Brian Baragwanath and Leonard Cremer’s 4×4 Century CR-7T 16th ahead of teenage lady sensation Aliyyah Koloc and Sebastien Delaunay’s SA Red-Lined REVO+. 4×2 leaders Mathieu Serradori and Loic Minaudier’s Century CR6-T, fought to 22nd, TreasuryONE Hilux duo Hennie de Klerk and Juan Möhr ran 29th, with rookies Saood Variawa and Francois Cazaletare’s Gazoo Hilux, and Gareth Woolridge and Boyd Dreyer’s NWR 30th and 35th.

So Sainz leads Eriksson and Loeb overall at the rest day with Toyota trio Moraes, de Mevius and de Villiers next up from Prokop, 4×2 leader Serradori and rookie leader Botterill. Roma sits 12th. Variawa is provisionally 21st, Koloc 40th, de Klerk 43rd, Woolridge 47th, Quinteiro 49th and Baragwanath 51st.

On two wheels, overnight leader Adrien van Beveren’s Honda duly took the stage. Toby Price’s KTM however overcame second placed Honda Rider Ricky Brabec, who also lost almost three minutes of his overall advantage over Botswana’s Ross Branch. The Hero rider will start the second week in second, just 51 seconds behind Price when racing resumes after the rest day on Sunday.

There was also drama when Branch’s Hero teammate Joan Barreda retired with a mechanical issue early Friday. But besides Price moving to second over Brabec, the rest of the top ten remained as it was on Thursday evening. Which meant that van Beveren took the day from Price and Brabec with Daniel Sanders’ GasGas fourth from Branch, Luciano Benavides on his Husqvarna, Jose Florimo’s Honda, and Kevin Benavides’ KTM.

Of the South Africans, Bradley Cox ended 14th and fifth in Rally 2 on his BAS KTM, Husqvarna duo Charan Moore was 24th and Zimbabwean Ashton Thixton 39th. KTM men, no service rider Stuart Gregory sat 76th and Ronald Venter 93rd.

Overall at the end of week 1, Brabec leads Branch by that 51 seconds in the bikes, with Florimo three and a half minutes adrift in third. Van Beveren is fourth, nine minutes off the lead and well clear of Price, Kevin Benavides, Sanders, and Luciano Benavides in 8th. Bradley Cox is 16th overall and fifth in Rally 2, Moore 22nd, Thixton 33rd, Gregory provisionally 72nd and Venter 86th.

Dakar 2024 now takes its much needed rest day in Riyadh on Saturday before resuming with 483 km of racing dirt tracks, sand and a few more dunes to Al Duwadimi on Sunday. Your Dakar Daily Report is powered by Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa and Tork Craft tools.

Issued on behalf of Dakar 2024 Daily News

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