March 5, 2024

Loeb denied Dakar hat-trick but BRX will fight back  

The Dakar Rally took another twist today as a navigational mishap denied Sebastien Loeb a hat-trick of successive stage victories for Bahrain Raid Xtreme as he tried to pile more pressure on Carlos Sainz.

Partnered by Fabian Lurquin in the BRX Prodrive Hunter, Loeb blasted through the first three quarters of the 483km Stage 8 to gain more than three minutes on the Audi of rally leader Sainz, and reduce the Spaniard’s overall advantage to just over 15 minutes.

With a third successive stage win looking well within reach, the nine-time World Rally Champion lost time trying to find a waypoint, allowing Swede Mattias Ekström to take the day’s honours in another Audi, while Sainz extended his advantage.

It was a classic example of how the Dakar can punish the best as Loeb, opening the road for the second day running following back-to-back wins for the Hunter, faced the biggest navigational challenge, while those behind followed his tracks.

While the gap to Sainz is now 24 mins 47 secs, the Frenchman still has no interest in a third successive runner up finish, and with four more desert stages remaining before Friday’s finish in Yanbu, the race still has a long way to run.

Loeb will immediately look to go back on the attack on tomorrow’s 417km stage from H’ail to Al Ula, which he will start with plenty of tracks to follow.

Today’s stage was split into two timed sections of 165km and 119km, separated by a transfer route and run across a mix of sand sections, and rocky surfaces where the threat of punctures was ever present.

After moving 10 mins 31 secs closer to Sainz with a brilliant drive on the previous day, Loeb will be aiming for the same kind of performance tomorrow to add to his three stage victories so far in the BRX Prodrive Hunter.

Last Updated on 2 months by Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247 delivers trending business and lifestyle news and essential infotainment for, and from the Middle East region, with key focus on the GCC nations: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman.
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