Wednesday, January 19

Auto sport. Dakar-2022: Loeb second in stage 5

This Thursday morning, the cars left the Riyadh bivouac to attack the special before the motorcycles. On tracks devoid of the slightest trace, the first competitors then do the work for the following ones.

“The farther you go, the better your time will be,” Loeb had predicted. In his position as the opener, the leader of the rally and winner of the previous day’s special Nasser al-Attiyah thus had the most ungrateful role. Starting three minutes behind him, the Alsatian quickly caught up with him and wedged himself in his wheels. “There’s no point in going past it, it will stick to me and won’t let go”, he indicated.

It is therefore in this order that the two contenders for final success crossed the finish line, Loeb taking 2’55 ” from his rival. Overall, the delay accumulated during stage 4 following a mechanical problem on the BRX Hunter remains significant (35’10 ”).

The problem is that only one other driver managed to improve the Alsatian’s time: the South African Heik Lategan (Toyota). It is he who will open the road for Loeb this Friday in a second special which will be contested in the same configuration, with the cars in front of the motorcycles. But Al-Attiyah will benefit from an ultra-advantageous position compared to Loeb …

Audi, one endless day

Note that in the Audi camp, we have not finished eating our black bread. After the repeated misfortunes of Stéphane Peterhansel, this time it was Carlos Sainz who was stopped in the special at km 180, the victim of a broken shock absorber. The Spaniard waited for “Mister Dakar” who helped him out by dismantling his own shock absorber before landing in the sand to wait for his assistance truck.

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