Carlos Sainz regains the lead in the first part of stage 6


The novel 48-hour stage and the good strategy of Carlos Sainz, has led the Spanish driver to the lead of the race, when the first part of the sixth stage that will end today in Shubaytah has been disputed today.

Carlos Sainz started 17th today after choosing a strategy that allowed him to start further back. After the first part of today’s stage, Carlos and Lucas Cruz have managed to close the gap with the leaders, overtaking 13 cars, and have reached kilometer 402, where they will sleep tonight in the middle of the desert completely cut off, leading the stage, four and a half minutes ahead of their Audi teammate Mattias Ekström, five minutes and 19 seconds over Frenchman Sebastien Loeb (Bahrain) and more than 24 minutes over Nasser Al Attiyah (Hunter).

Carlos and Lucas are provisionally in first place overall, 16 minutes ahead of Ekström and 21.41 ahead of Nasser. Tomorrow the sixth stage will be completed and Carlos and Lucas will have to face 150 kilometers to reach the bivouac for what will be the rest day.

Tomorrow’s stage
Stage 5: SHUBAYTAH > SHUBAYTAH Link > 209 km – Special > 626 km
Nothing like it has ever been seen and they are already trembling at this unique challenge. The stage takes place over two days, but the typical parameters of a marathon stage disappear with the unprecedented format of the 48-hour time trial. Let’s imagine a huge gong booming at dusk in the Empty Quarter sky, commanding all drivers to stop their vehicles dead in their tracks and not start up again until dawn the next day, after a night under the stars. That is the spirit of this new stage. In practice, the cut-off time is 4 pm. At that point, everyone will be asked to stop at the next rest area (there are 6) located on the route of the special. At that point, the pilots will receive a minimum camping equipment and enough food to spend the night in the desert, without connection and, therefore, without information on the results of their rivals. Isolated from the world.

The elite bikers fighting for the title have never ridden eight hours on a special stage… until now. The setting for this premiere will be the Empty Quarter and its endless dunes. Although they have already entered this area, the route of this mega-special is really tough. The chotts (salt lakes), where you can take a break, await you between the dune ridges. But the navigation will require the utmost care, with hard-to-find courses and hidden WPs that will make many angry: “I’m not going to make many friends,” says David Castera. In fact, their former comrades in the car category will face the same difficulties as the two-wheeled riders. In addition, as the FIA and FIM courses are independent, there will be no motorcycle skid marks to guide the co-drivers.