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Stage 9 Sainz Takes the Lead rally dakar 2024

Stage 9: Sainz Takes the Lead Over Loeb

16/01/2024

Sébastien Loeb celebrated his fourth victory of the day and his 27th best time on the ninth stage, but it only reduced his gap on Carlos Sainz, who is still leading, from 24 hours and 47 minutes to 20 hours and 33 minutes.

At the Dakar Rally, you can only give up when you’ve reached the finish line. Until then, many things can happen in the classic marathon, as is always the case in 2024. Sébastien Loeb, who finished second last year, didn’t let his navigation mistake from the previous day deter him.

Dakar Rally: Loeb vs. Sainz

He continued to challenge Carlos Sainz in the Audi RS Q-etron. On the ninth stage, he achieved his fourth best time of 2024 but had only a “mere” 4 minutes and 14 seconds lead over Sainz, who remained in second place, maintaining a gap of 20 minutes and 33 seconds over Loeb.

However, they both know how quickly this advantage can be lost in the Saudi desert. Sainz and Loeb have experienced this firsthand. They are followed in third and fourth places overall by Toyota drivers Lucas Moraes, as in 2023, in third place with a gap of (+1 hour, 12 minutes, and 2 seconds), and Guillaume de Mevius in fourth place with a gap of (+1 hour, 39 minutes, and 56 seconds).

Mathieu Serradori holds the fifth place in the best two-wheel-drive buggy category with a gap of (+2 hours, 3 minutes, and 44 seconds).

Only four days and four stages left until the finish of the 46th Dakar Rally, which concludes on Friday in Yanbu. The ninth stage covered a total of 639 km from Ha’il to Al Ula, with the best time comprising 417 km. This section presented its own challenges.

The start of the special stage appeared to be a fast one, but participants quickly discovered otherwise. Here, the tracks were more visible than ever, making navigation even more challenging. Confidence was crucial, as was the ability to find the right rhythm when racing across rocky plateaus.

The battle for victory between the leader Carlos Sainz in the Audi RS Q-etron and his rival Sébastien Loeb in the Prodrive Hunter has lost some of its intensity following a navigation error by Loeb, who finished second in last year’s race. On Monday,

Loeb vs. Sainz: Rally Rivals

Sainz (61 years old) managed to extend his lead over Loeb by 24 minutes and 47 seconds on his path towards a possible fourth triumph in the classic marathon. It’s well-known that Loeb, a nine-time rally champion, is a fighter who never gives up until the very end.

Loeb, who was born in Alsace and resides in Switzerland, was not on the Times’ radar on Tuesday, but he launched the ninth stage much like the previous day. Sébastien Loeb started as the tenth rider and set the provisional best time after 40 km. At that point, he had a 37-second lead over Mattias Ekström, the winner of Monday’s stage in the Audi RS Q-etron.

However, in the overall standings, he still had a gap of 4 hours, 44 minutes, and 7 seconds behind his teammate and leader Sainz, who only lost 49 seconds over the first 40 km. At 40 years old, Loeb doesn’t seem concerned at the moment. Stéphane Peterhansel, who started ahead of Audi teammate Sainz, lost over 7 minutes at the first intermediate checkpoint and was now behind his teammate in the stage. This was a strategic decision by the Audi team, possibly to provide assistance to Sainz.

Loeb Leads the Way at Daka

After 110 kilometers of the special stage, Sébastien Loeb was still the fastest driver with a lead of just under two minutes over Carlos Sainz and Lucas Moraes. Ekström continued to lead as the first vehicle, while Peterhansel, who was second the previous day, remained close to Sainz.

After 212 km, Loeb maintained his position as the fastest driver with a lead of over three minutes over Lucas Moraes (Toyota) and Sainz, who could rely on the support of his teammate Peterhansel in case of any issues. Guerlain Chicherit moved the second Toyota up to the fourth position in the stage rankings, trailing his fellow countryman Loeb by just under four minutes.

Stage 9 Sainz Takes the Lead

Loeb is gradually closing the gap on Sainz, and after 260 km, he gains an additional minute over the Spaniard. The Frenchman now has a lead of 4 hours and 20 minutes over the Madrilenian. In the virtual overall standings, Loeb is only 20 minutes behind his rival.

However, at the 303 km mark, Carlos Sainz launches a counterattack, regaining a minute from Loeb. The Spaniard, who led in the overall standings, is now only 2 hours and 35 minutes behind the Frenchman. Lucas Moraes climbs back into third position, trailing by 5 minutes, with the threat of Mathieu Serradori in his 2WD Century CR6, who is less than a minute behind.

Loeb retaliated. After 395 km, Loeb increased his lead in the virtual stage standings to over 3 minutes and 30 seconds ahead of Sainz, who was being closely followed by his teammate Peterhansel for added security.

At this point, Moraes had lost over six minutes, a setback that Mathieu Serradori capitalized on in his Century Buggy to secure the third place for the day. In the end, Loeb celebrated his fourth victory of the day in his ninth Rally Dakar, with a lead of 4 minutes and 14 seconds over Sainz and 9 minutes and 52 seconds over Guillaume de Mevius (Toyota Hilux).

Stage 9 Sainz Takes the Lead. Results after the 9th out of 12 stages

Pos.Team/Nat/CarTime/Diff.
1Sainz/Cruz (E), Audi37:50:57
2Loeb/Lurquin (F/B), Hunter+ 20:33
3Moraes/Monléon (BZ/E), Toyota+ 1:12:02
4De Mevius/Panseri (B/F), Toyota+ 1:39:56
5De Villiers/Murphy (ZA), Toyota+ 2:00:12
6Serradori/Minaudier (F), Century+ 2:03:44
7Chicherit/Winocq (F), Toyota+ 2:12:43
8Prokop/Chytka (CZ), Ford+ 2:12:48
9Botterill/Cummings (ZA), Toyota+ 2:39:51
10Krotov/Zhiltsov (KSZ), Toyota+ 3:06:18

Stage 9: Sainz Takes the Lead Over Loeb dakar 2024. rally Stage 9: Sainz Takes the Lead Over Loeb dakar 2024. Stage 9: carlos Sainz Takes the Lead Over Loeb dakar

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