Suspension ball joint breakage delays Sainz and Cruz from the lead

03/01/2023

Complicated day for Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz (Audi RS Q e-tron) in the third stage of the Dakar Rally, which linked the towns of Alula and Ha’il. A broken ball joint in the left rear suspension meant a loss of time in the 378 kilometers of this special stage.

At kilometer 213 the Spanish drivers stopped to repair the ball joint of the suspension of their Audi when it broke in the camel grass. On the ground they have managed to solve the problem and move forward. A few kilometers further on they had to stop again to repair two punctures, one of which wasted more time than usual as they had problems with the wheel change.

The stage was stopped before the final finish line due to bad weather conditions, which prevented the organization from ensuring the safety of the participants as the medical helicopters could not fly. Due to the neutralization, the organization had not yet published the official classifications.

Carlos Sainz: “Today’s stage was a pity, we broke a ball joint of the suspension without touching anywhere and we had to change it, which took longer than expected. Then we had a couple of punctures and in one of them a nut didn’t come out and the wheel wrench broke and we had to wait for Mattias. Everything that didn’t have to go wrong went wrong, but well, there are still many races left and of course we will continue attacking and pushing forward. Now there is only one strategy”.

Tomorrow’s stage
HA’IL > HA’IL: Link > 148 km – Special > 425 km

The great connoisseurs of the world’s deserts have undoubtedly mastered all types of dunes, but rarely will they have had to face the mountains of sand that the competitors will have to climb in the first 100 kilometers of the special stage. Afterwards, sandy tracks will follow on the way back to Ha’il, with no shortage of navigational difficulties. Maximum concentration will be required to interpret and follow the roadbook indications.