Dakar 2024 – Stage 5 Highlights

DAY 6: Stage 5 – January 10, 2024  – Route: Al-Hofuf > Shubaytah: Liaison 527km and Special 118km

– Defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyah has moved up the overall Ultimate classification this week now that he has adapted to his Prodrive Hunter car and he banked his first Dakar stage win in the new vehicle on Wednesday, after he broke clear to win by nearly two minutes. The Qatari, was the class act by the end of the 118km chain of special stage dunes following a monstrous liaison section in excess of 500km. The 53-year-old, who lies nine minutes and three seconds behind Saudi home leader Yazeed Al Rahji, said: “Today I knew I needed to win the stage. Tomorrow is 600 kilometres and I don’t care if I open. Maybe I will lose some time, but the important thing is to finish the long stage that’s coming.”

– Ahead of Thursday’s new 48-hour Chrono Stage, Spanish legend Carlos Sainz, France’s Sébastien Loeb and Spain’s Laia Sanz slowed down to ensure a favourable starting position for tomorrow as there will be no bike tracks to follow due to FIA and FIM entrants following separate courses. Sainz finished behind the likes of Guillaume De Mevius, Giniel De Villiers and Mattias Ekström, but only trails Al Rajhi by 11 minutes and 31 seconds overall. The 61-year-old veteran revealed: “I think we need to wait two days more until we find out who has the best strategy for the next stage.”

– Multiple Dakar champion Chaleco López also collected his first Challenger stage win of the 46th edition with a storming performance that saw him finish two minutes and four seconds clear of fellow Can-Am driver Austin ‘AJ’ Jones as Polish race leader Eryk Goczal was pushed down into third on the stage. The 48-year-old Chilean, who now sits fourth overall, said: “This was a good day, the first good day for me at this year’s rally. Nothing bad happened to us today so I’m very happy.”

– After struggling early on during this year’s race, Australian duo Toby Price and Daniel Sanders came home third and fourth respectively to eat into Botswanan Ross Branch’s overall lead. With Argentine Luciano Benavides escaping a scary finish elsewhere, which saw his engine repeatedly cutting out, Price said: “The stage was quite tricky, there were a lot of drops in there. We got through with a decent pace. I missed a couple of the drops and that got the heart rate up a little bit.”

– Thursday’s two-stages-in-one deal over the 250-metre-high sand dunes of the Empty Quarter desert will see competitors cover a timed special stage of 584 kilometres across two days with a night spent camped out on the dunes thrown in for good measure. Racers will be forced to make any necessary repairs themselves using whatever tools they have to hand and, crucially, competitors will also be separated from their rivals with no way of knowing if they are losing or gaining time on the pack.

2024 Dakar Rally overall standings after Stage 5

Ultimate Car
1. Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU) 17h 24m 04s
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) +9m 03s
3. Carlos Sainz (ESP) +11m 31s

Challenger Car
1. Eryk Goczal (POL) 19h 01m 18s
2. Marek Goczel (POL) +34m 50s
3. Mitch Guthrie Jrs. (USA) +39m 46s

1. Ross Branch (BWA) 19h 05m 03s
2. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHL) +1m 14s
3. Ricky Brabec (USA) +3m 47s

Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.