Qatari Nasser al-Attiyah gained the primary particular of the Dakar Rally on Sunday to increase his race lead after victory within the prologue.
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The 51-year-old, seeking to win the race for the fourth time, completed the stage 12 minutes and 7 seconds faster than nine-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb in second place.
“It feels steady. We’ll do our best, but today was a good stage for us. This is no time to race conservatively,” mentioned Toyota’s Nasser al-Attiyah, a former Olympic taking pictures medallist.
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The 333km loop round northern Saudi Arabia noticed a number of opponents endure navigational difficulties, leading to giant time gaps.
Record 14-time Dakar Rally winner Stephane Peterhansel, nicknamed “Monsieur Dakar”, lost plenty of time after dropping a wheel of his Audi.
The Frenchman may now determine to withdraw from the race after having to attend for six hours for help.
Loeb is now 12 minutes and 44 seconds behind Nasser al-Attiyah within the early standings after battling again from a tough begin which noticed his automotive endure two punctures.
“It really wasn’t simple, we messed up and started with two punctures before the neutralisation,” he mentioned.
“There was no room for error in the second part.”
“The first part of the day dented our confidence, but everything turned out fine,” he added.
Bad day on the Dakar Rally for SA entrants
It was a horrible day for South Africa’s entrants within the automotive part.
Giniel de Villiers is in seventh place total, 33 minutes and 33 second behind, with Christiaan Visser subsequent finest in twentieth place (1:02.25 adrift).
Shameer Variawa follows in twenty first place (1:06.21 behind) with Ernest Roberts in twenty eighth (1:16.48).
Much was anticipated from Brian Baragwanath, however his probabilities of a podium are successfully over as he finds himself in forty fifth place, 1:48.41 behind.
The similar applies to Schalk Burger (forty ninth at 2:26.47) and Henk Lategan (52nd at 3:24.22).
Meanwhile, Australian Daniel Sanders prolonged his early benefit within the bikes class, beating Chilean Pablo Quintanilla by 3:07 on Sunday.
“In the end, a lot of guys got lost and, luckily, we got onto the right track,” mentioned Sanders.
“It was a good, strong finish. I just didn’t push too much at the start, just gave it a nice rhythm, and at the end I tried to open as much as I could.”