Al-Attiyah cruises as Loeb wins another Dakar stage
Friday 13th January, 2023 - 12:31pm
Dakar Rally leader Nasser Al-Attiyah was in cruise mode as Sebastien Loeb helped himself to a fourth straight stage win.
Loeb was quickest all the way through the first of two Marathon stages in Saudi Arabia’s empty quarter, powering through the sand and chott in his Bahrain Raid Xtreme-entered Prodrive Hunter.
He remains third overall but has closed the deficit to Overdrive Racing’s Lucas Moraes, who was fourth on the day, to 9:37s after Stage 11 of 14.
However, it is another Hilux driver, namely Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Al-Attiyah, who is still 1:21:04s clear of the field despite ceding 30 seconds relative to Moraes.
“Today we did an amazing stage with no mistakes,” said the Qatari.
“It looked a little bit easy because we didn’t really push a lot, just to finish today without problems so we don’t need to work on our car all night.
“We need to accept this situation, because we don’t need to attack for nothing,” he added.
“We still have too many hours to do. We try to do our best because tomorrow is so important.
“Today we just needed to finish. We need to control because there is no point really going crazy.”
Loeb, meanwhile, pulled off the victory despite having to change a tyre.
“We had to change one wheel in the dunes, so it was a bit tricky to find a good place to do it and we lost a bit of time for it,” revealed the Frenchman.
“For the rest, I had a good rhythm.”
In terms of the stage result, Guerlain Chicherit (GCK Motorsport) finished second to Loeb by 2:16s and is 14th overall, with Mattias Ektrsom (Team Audi Sport) third on the day and now 20th overall.
CLICK HERE for Bikes report
CLICK HERE for extended highlights of Stage 11
Overall classification: Cars Top 10
|1||Nasser Al-Attiyah||Mathieu Baumel||Toyota Gazoo Racing||39:16:33|
|2||Lucas Moraes||Timo Gottschalk||Overdrive Racing||+1:21:04|
|3||Sebastien Loeb||Fabian Lurquin||Bahrain Raid Xtreme||+1:30:41|
|4||Henk Lategan||Brett Cummings||Toyota Gazoo Racing||+1:49:17|
|5||Giniel De Villiers||Dennis Murphy||Toyota Gazoo Racing||+2:14:18|
|6||Martin Prokop||Viktor Chytka||Orlen Benzina Team||+2:53:59|
|7||Romain Dumas||Max Delfino||Rebellion Racing||+3:03:54|
|8||Brian Baragwanath||Leonard Cremer||Century Racing Factory Team||+3:24:31|
|9||Wei Han||Ma Li||Hanwei Motorsport Team||+3:54:07|
|10||Juan Cruz Yacopini||Daniel Oliveras Carreras||Overdrive Racing||+4:08:31|