6th stage of the Dakar Sainz Leads at 48-Hour Break

6th stage of the Dakar Rally, a marathon leg held on Thursday and Friday, traversed 781 km around Shubaytah into the dunes of the “Empty Quarter,” without external assistance and official timekeeping.

Carlos Sainz is set to spend the night under the stars as the leader after leading the first day of the 6th stage of the Dakar. Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Stéphane Peterhansel had a challenging Thursday.

The initial day of this 48-hour marathon in the 6th special stage of the Dakar 2024 brought significant upheaval and altered the overall standings. Everything remains provisional as the stage concludes this Friday, following a night under the stars without assistance. The headline news is about Carlos Sainz, the new virtual general classification leader.

Starting among the leaders, Sainz capitalized on his position and the tracks in front of him. He gained an early advantage when Yazeed Al-Rajhi, the general leader, erred at km 51, damaging his Toyota Hilux T1+. This setback diminished Al-Rajhi’s victory chances, shifting his focus to repairing his vehicle for the race’s second week.

Nasser Al-Attiyah (Prodrive) faced challenges from his start position, losing time as expected. This benefited Carlos Sainz, an experienced competitor. The Madrid native quickly pulled ahead of the pack, expertly steering his Audi RS Q e-tron through the Empty Quarter’s dunes.

Loeb in a Strong Position, Peterhansel Stalled

As the clock paused, the Audi driver was in the lead, followed by teammate Mattias Ekström at 2’20″. Sébastien Loeb (Prodrive) appears to have executed his strategy well, sitting just 5’01″ behind Carlos Sainz in third place.

In the overall standings, the Alsatian, who fell to 9th place after the previous stage, has climbed to a provisional 4th. This is provisional, as the 6th stage concludes this Friday after a night in the desert. At the 246-kilometer checkpoint, the nine-time world champion is 36’51″ behind Carlos Sainz, with both drivers in the D rest zone (also a refueling area).

For Stéphane Peterhansel (Audi), troubles began just past kilometer 225. Forced to stop, Mr. Dakar encountered issues with his left rear tire and hydraulic system, losing power steering and the hydraulic jack needed for repairs. At the time, he was provisionally 5th in the stage, about 7 minutes behind the leader. This setback effectively ends his hopes of clinching a 15th Dakar victory.

46th Dakar Rally 2024: Provisional Results After Stage 6 (Part 1) of 12 Stages.

RankDriver / Co-DriverTime/Diff.
1Sainz/Cruz (E), Audi22:57:35
2Ekström/Bergqvist (S), Audi+ 15:58
3Al-Attiyah/Baumel (QA/F), Hunter+ 21:41
4Loeb/Lurquin (F/B), Hunter+ 36:51
5Moraes/Monléon (BZ/E), Toyota+ 1:02:31
6De Mevius/Panseri (B/F), Toyota+ 1:02:45
7Serradori/Minaudier (F), Century+ 1:11:55
8thDe Villiers/Murphy (ZA), Toyota+ 1:23:49
9Prokop/Chytka (CZ), Ford+ 1:31:55
10Botterill/Cummings (ZA), Toyota+ 1:43:11

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