Setback hits Dakar leader


A huge setback hit the overall leaders of the Dakar off-road rally, Yazeed Al Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk of Overdrive Racing, when an accident put their title chances in jeopardy.

The Saudi driver and his German navigator rolled against a sand dune after 51 km of the killer sixth stage of 48 hours and they were unable to repair their vehicle.

This left the door open for Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz in their Audi to enjoy overall leader status.

The official results will only be confirmed after Friday’s second part.

South Africa’s Giniel de Villers and Dennis Murphy of the Toyota Gazoo Racing team finished the first section in 11th place, while rookie Guy Botterill ended the day in 17th place.

The killer shift of 48 hours is a novelty at this year’s Dakar adventure.

All the participants had to stop at 16:00 on Thursday and spend the night at a camp where they only received the bare essentials – a tent, a few liters of water, a sleeping bag and food.

Preliminary results (sixth shift):

  1. Sebastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin (Bahrain Raid Xtreme): 07:21:56
  2. Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz (Team Audi Sport): 07:23:57
  3. Mattias Ekstrom and Emil Bergkvist (Team Audi Sport): 07:32:51
  4. Lucas Moraes and Armand Monleon (Toyota Gazoo Racing): 07:44:41
  5. Guerlain Chicherit and Alex Winocq (Overdrive Racing): 07:56:01
  6. Martin Prokop and Viktor Chytka (Orlen Jipocar ‚Äč‚ÄčTeam): 07:58:30
  7. Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy (Toyota Gazoo Racing): 07:59:00
  8. Guillaume de Mevius and Xavier Panseri (Overdrive Racing): 08:03:24
  9. Seth Quintero and Dennis Zenz (Toyota Gazoo Racing): 08:11:01
  10. Guy Botterill and Brett Cummings (Toyota Gazoo Racing): 08:17:39
  • Jeanette Kok-Kritzinger from Wiele2Wiele and Stephie Vetter from the Southern Africa Dakar Group keep us informed of what is happening in the Dakar Rally and how our Southern African participants are doing.