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Sébastien Loeb Dakar day 4 2024 rally
Sebastian Loeb emerged as the fifth unique victor in stage 4, captured in an image by Florent Gooden of DPPI.

Sébastien Loeb Recovers in Dakar, Eyes Top 5 Finish

09/01/2024

Sébastien Loeb Breathes a Sigh of Relief After Previous Day’s Troubles: “Maintained a Good Pace Throughout.” Securing his first stage win in the 2024 Dakar Rally, Sébastien Loeb showed a more relaxed demeanor as he edged closer to the Top 5 in the overall standings.

As Sébastien Loeb stepped out of his Hunter, he looked noticeably better than the previous day. This shift in demeanor came after a more spirited performance in the fourth stage of the 2024 Dakar Rally. The driver from Alsace skillfully navigated the stage’s hazards, bouncing back from the previous night’s marathon bivouac.

Leaving the frustrations and punctures of the third stage behind, the Prodrive pilot was able to do what he loves most: push the accelerator to the limit. The result? Loeb led the pack, clinching his first stage win in this Saudi fortnight, finishing just over a minute ahead of the general leader, Yazeed Al-Rajhi.

Sébastien Loeb’s Day 4 at Dakar – Overcomes Dust and Rocks to Stay Competitive in Dakar

“I lost some time in the dust as I had to overtake a couple of cars,” he explained. “Apart from that, we maintained a good pace throughout, which was great. I haven’t delved into the overall standings yet, but Al-Rajhi is still in front, and the three Audis are still in the game – they haven’t dropped out after all! Nasser is also there; in short, there’s a lot of competition. So far, no one has managed to pull away in the rankings. Today, I put in a solid performance in the special stage, which was crucial for getting back into the game before the major stages in the Empty Quarter. It was essential not to fall behind and not to keep losing time like yesterday.”

Unfortunate the day before with three punctures costing him over 20 minutes, the Alsatian driver was spared such troubles this time. However, he remains aware of the ongoing challenges his tires face on the demanding terrain.

“The terrains are very tough,” he stated to L’Équipe. “There are areas where we drive over sharp volcanic rocks at speeds of 150 km/h… When we drive over a rock or even a rock field, because sometimes we have no choice and must cross them as they are on the roadbook, it’s extremely challenging for the tires. The cars are very heavy, especially at the start of the stage since we begin with a full tank, so it’s tough on the tires. It can get complicated.”

In the overall standings, this stage victory has propelled him to 6th place. Sébastien Loeb still remains at a distance from Yazeed Al-Rajhi, trailing by 23 minutes and 50 seconds.

Dakar 2024. Cars: Overall Standings After Stage 4

PositionDriver and Co-DriverTeam
1Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU) – Timo Gottschalk (GER – Overdrive Racing)15h44’39”
2Carlos Sainz (ESP) – Lucas Cruz (ESP – Team Audi Sport)+4’29”
3Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) – Mathieu Baumel (FRA – Nasser Racing)+11’03”
4Lucas Moraes (BRA) – Armand Monleon (ESP – Toyota Gazoo Racing)+19’31”
5Mattias Ekström (SWE) – Emil Bergkvist (SWE – Team Audi Sport)+19’42”
6Sébastien Loeb (FRA) – Fabian Lurquin (BEL – Prodrive)+23’50”
7Mathieu Serradori (FRA) – Loïc Minaudier (FRA – Century Racing Factory)+24’20”
8Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) – Édouard Boulanger (FRA – Audi)+26’56”
9Vaidotas Zala (LTU) – Paulo Fiuza (POR – X-Raid Aijus Team)+32’52”
10Guillaume de Mevius (BEL) – Xavier Panseri (FRA – Overdrive Racing)+40’43”

Sébastien Loeb Dakar day 4 rally. Sébastien Loeb Dakar day 4 rally.

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