Connect with us


Loeb bounces back with Dakar stage four win

French driver Sebastien Loeb bounced back the day after a series of punctures to grab his first win of this year’s Dakar Rally, edging Saudi race leader Yazeed Al-Rajhi in Tuesday’s fourth stage.

The Prodrive competitor — a former nine-time world rally champion — finished 1min 08sec ahead of Toyota’s Al-Rajhi after 631km of rolling terrain without major difficulty including a 299km special between Al-Salamiya and Al-Hofuf in Saudi Arabia.

Loeb had suffered three punctures on Monday, but his first success in this year’s race moves him up to sixth overall, 23min 50sec behind Al-Rahji. 

“It was important to get back into it. Especially since we are going to arrive at big stages. We should not be left behind,” said Loeb. 

“The three Audis are performing, Nasser (Al-Attiyah) and Yazeed (Al-Rajhi) too, that’s a crowd. For the moment no one is taking a break.”

Loeb clawed back 1min 22sec on Qatari rival Nasser Al-Attiyah (Prodrive), third in the stage at 5min 08sec and overall at 11min 03sec. 

Spain’s Carlos Sainz’s fourth place finish leaves him second overall just over four minutes adrift with his Audi teammate Stephane Peterhansel crossing in sixth place.

In the motorbike category, Chilean Ignacio Cornejo surged to the overall race lead after his second stage victory this year.

The Honda rider finished the stage nearly three minutes ahead of US teammate Ricky Brabrec, followed closely by Argentinian defending champion Kevin Benavides (KTM) at 3min 18sec. 

In the lead since the first stage, Botswanan Ross Branch (Hero) crossed in fourth at 4min 26sec and fell to second place overall, 1min 15sec behind the Chilean. 

Wednesday’s tricky fifth stage crosses the vast ‘Empty Quarter’ desert, with a 645km stage including 118km special between Al-Hofuf and Shubaytah.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


World Cup News


More in Motorsport