Dakar 2024 – Stage 6 Highlights

DAY 7: Stage 6 – January 11, 2024 – Route: Shubaytah > Shubaytah – Liaison 209km and Special 626km

– Thursday’s leg of the all-new 48-hour Chrono Stage has already mixed up the order in the Ultimate category as Spanish legend Carlos Sainz went on the attack over the 250-metre-high dunes of the Empty Quarter desert. The three-time Dakar winner eased off yesterday to give himself a good starting position today and it worked a treat as he passed main rival Nasser Al-Attiyah – who had opened the stage – and also claimed the overall lead after Saudi driver Yazeed Al Rajhi barrel rolled on the dunes.

– After equalling Ari Vatanen’s record of 50 Dakar car stage wins earlier in the week, Sainz’s fellow Team Audi Sport driver Stéphane Peterhansel did not enjoy the same fortune as the 14-time champion suffered severe mechanical trouble in his Audi RS Q e-tron at 225km and is now out of the running. The 58-year-old Frenchman said: “We had a puncture and the hydraulic jack system started playing up. We don’t have a hand jack, so we don’t know how we’re going to change the wheel. I’ve lost the power steering and I don’t know how we’re going to manage to pull through.”

– Despite the setback of a 17-minute time penalty, American charger Mitch Guthrie Jr. continues to take the fight to Challenger class leader Eryk Goczal with the Taurus T3 Max duo one and two for most of Stage Six’s opening day. Also still in the hunt for an overall podium spot in the Challenger class are Spanish racer Cristina Gutiérrez, American Austin Jones and multiple Dakar title winner Chaleco López.

– Bike quartet Kevin Benavides, Toby Price, Daniel Sanders and Luciano Benavides managed to stay in touch with the trio of Honda bikers ahead of them plus Ross Branch as Chilean rider Pablo Quintanilla suffered a big time loss after running out of fuel 10km before the refuelling point.

– Tonight competitors will camp out in the desert before Stage Six draws to a close on Friday with the remaining convoy out to complete what remains of the timed special stage ahead of the much needed Rest Day.

2024 Dakar Rally overall standings midway through Stage 6

Ultimate Car
1. Carlos Sainz (ESP) 22h 56m 56s
2. Mattias Ekström (SWE) +16m 37s
3. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) +22m 20s

Challenger Car
1. Eryk Goczal (POL) 23h 16m 33s
2. Mitch Guthrie Jrs. (USA) +41m 41s
3. Marek Goczel (POL) +48m 26s

1. Ricky Brabec (USA) 24h 57m 14s
2. Ross Branch (BWA) +3m 34s
3. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHL) +5m 34s


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