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5th Stage of Dakar 2024
Nasser Al-Attiyah Wins the 5th Stage of Dakar 2024 in a Car. | PHOTO: PATRICK HERTZOG / AFP

Nasser Al-Attiyah Takes the Lead in the 5th Stage of Dakar 2024

10/01/2024

In an exhilarating display of skill, Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah, representing Prodrive, clocked the fastest time on Wednesday, January 10th, as the Dakar 2024 ventured into the challenging dunes of the Empty Quarter.

With this impressive performance, Al-Attiyah vaulted himself into second place in the overall standings following the conclusion of the event’s 5th stage, which stretched from Al-Hofuf to Shubaytah in Saudi Arabia.

Adding another milestone to his illustrious career, Al-Attiyah secured his 48th stage victory on the Dakar circuit, marking his first triumph in the 2024 edition.

He completed the stage ahead of the French contender, Guerlain Chicherit, driving for Toyota, by a mere 1 minute and 51 seconds.

Despite Al-Attiyah’s commanding performance, the Saudi driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi managed to maintain his lead in the overall classification.

However, he finished the stage in fourth place and conceded a 2-minute gap to the Qatari and his co-pilot Mathieu Baumel, who currently stand in second place overall, trailing by 9 minutes and 3 seconds.

French driver Sébastien Loeb, representing Prodrive, made a noteworthy strategic move by intentionally missing a mandatory checkpoint during his stint as the lead vehicle on Wednesday.

This decision led to a 15-minute penalty, resulting in a 21-minute and 13-second deficit behind the day’s victor. Loeb’s gamble was aimed at gaining a more favorable starting position for the subsequent stage, with hopes of optimizing his overall race performance.

“Either the strategy pays off, and I reclaim 35 minutes over the next two days, closing in on the overall lead, or it doesn’t work, and we’re in trouble. No one has ever attempted this,” Loeb asserted. “It might be a foolish move if only two of us thought of it.”

Al-Attiyah’s Dakar Triumph Shifts Standings

Meanwhile, Spanish driver Carlos Sainz, driving an Audi, completed the stage in 28th place, trailing by 9 minutes and 2 seconds, causing him to slip to third place in the overall rankings.

On this eventful Wednesday, Nasser Al-Attiyah clinched his first victory in Dakar 2024, marking the 48th stage win of his remarkable career in the competition. This achievement propelled him to the second spot in the overall standings, just behind Saudi driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi.

In this action-packed Dakar 2024, a new driver has triumphed on each of the six days since the race’s commencement. Following the successes of Swedish driver Ekström, Belgian contender De Mevius, and French aces Peterhansel and Loeb, along with Brazilian talent Moraes, it was now Nasser Al-Attiyah’s turn to seize the stage.

On the route from Al-Hofuf to Shubaytah, representing Prodrive, Al-Attiyah managed to outpace his rivals, securing victory with a lead of 1 minute and 51 seconds over Guerlain Chicherit from Toyota, and a gap of 1 minute and 58 seconds over Argentine driver Juan Cruz Yacopini, also driving for Prodrive.

In the overall standings, Nasser Al-Attiyah’s outstanding performance catapulted him into second place, displacing veteran Spanish driver Carlos Sainz.

Notably, Sébastien Loeb experienced a setback, dropping to ninth place in the rankings after this eventful Wednesday stage.

Thursday and Friday will introduce competitors to an unprecedented format for the 6th stage: spanning two days, the “48-hour challenge” is the final major test of the first week of Dakar 2024 before a rest day in Riyadh.

The overall standings are as follows:

RankDriver / Co-DriverTeamTotal Time
1Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU) – Timo Gottschalk (GER – Overdrive Racing)Overdrive Racing17h24’04”
2Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) – Mathieu Baumel (FRA – Nasser Racing)Nasser Racing9’03”
3Carlos Sainz (ESP) – Lucas Cruz (ESP – Team Audi Sport)Team Audi Sport11’31”
4Mattias Ekström (SWE) – Emil Bergkvist (SWE – Team Audi Sport)Team Audi Sport22’58”
5Mathieu Serradori (FRA) – Loïc Minaudier (FRA – Century Racing Factory)Century Racing Factory31′
6Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) – Édouard Boulanger (FRA – Audi)Audi34’12”
7Vaidotas Zala (LTU) – Paulo Fiuza (POR – X-Raid Aijus Team)X-Raid Aijus Team37’07”
8Guillaume de Mevius (BEL) – Xavier Panseri (FRA – Overdrive Racing)Overdrive Racing41’51”
9Sébastien Loeb (FRA) – Fabian Lurquin (BEL – Prodrive)Prodrive43’03”
10Lucas Moraes (BRA) – Armand Monleon (ESP – Toyota Gazoo Racing)Toyota Gazoo Racing54’47”

5th Stage of Dakar 2024 The overall standings 5th Stage of Dakar 2024 The overall standings

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