Sainz holds his own on one of the toughest days of the second part of the Dakar

14/01/2024

Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz (Audi RS Q e-tron) continue to lead the Dakar Rally as the Saudi Arabian event enters its second part. Today was the longest stage of the race with 483 kilometers with a finish in the town of Al Duwadimi.

Carlos Sainz finished fourth in the stage and lost ten and a half minutes to the winner of the day and his main rival in the fight for the final victory, Sebastien Loeb (Bahrain), after suffering a puncture in which he lost time. The Spanish drivers now have a lead of nineteen minutes over Loeb.

Carlos Sainz: “Today was a very difficult stage, the longest of the Dakar with a lot of navigation and a lot of rocks at the end of the special. We also suffered a puncture. But we are here and we have overcome one of the most difficult remaining stages along with the penultimate day.”

Tomorrow’s stage
Stage 8: AL DUWADIMI > HAIL Link > 220 km – Special > 458 km
This will be a day of contrasts and a slight drop in intensity. Leaving the center of the country in a northerly direction, the special stage takes the competitors through sandy terrain, but without major obstacles. Then there is a surprising change of scenery that will demand maximum attention and precision in piloting. The sand gives way to pebbles, with a hard and broken route at some points. To protect their tires, they must roll towards Ha’il as if walking on eggshells. With prudence and delicacy.