The first official stages of the Saudi Dakar Rally 2023 have started, which comes within the calendar of international events and events hosted by Saudi Arabia, which is hosted by the city of Yanbu.
Spaniard Carlos Sainz, driver of the “Audi” team, managed to get first place in the car category, with a time of 3 hours, 20 minutes and 41 seconds, followed by Frenchman Sebastien Loeb, driver of the “Bahrain Red Extreme” team, second, with a difference of 23 seconds, while Swede Matthias Ekström came, driver of the “Bahrain Red Extreme” team. “Audi” ranked third, 47 seconds behind the Spaniard Sainz, followed by the Frenchman Guerlain Chechery, the “GCK” driver, in the fourth place, while the Saudi Yazeed Al-Rajhi, the driver of the “Overdrive” team, came fifth in the standings, a minute and 59 seconds behind the leader. The Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah, the driver of the Toyota team and the champion of the last edition of the rally, also arrived ninth, with a difference of 7 minutes and 9 seconds.
In the motorcycle category, American Ricky Brabec, rider of the “Monster Engy Honda” team, led the first stage, with a time of 3 hours, 31 minutes and 10 seconds, and 44 seconds behind Argentine Kevin Benavides, rider of the “Red Bull KTM” team, who finished second in the standings. American Mason Klein, rider of the “Pass World KTM” team, came third, and Australian Daniel Sanders, rider of the “Red Bull Gasgas” team, fell to sixth place, in addition to Chilean Pablo Quintanilla, rider of the “Monser Energy Honda” team, to seventh place. after being subjected to a time penalty; As a result of exceeding the specified speeds in some sections of the track.
Briton Sam Sunderland, the holder of the cycling title last year, had an accident in the special stage, which led to his withdrawal and his transfer to Yanbu Hospital. To conduct the necessary examinations, to check on his health.
The fastest time
Argentine cyclist Manuel Indujar succeeded in winning his first place in the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia 2023, after recording the fastest time in the first stage in the “quads” category, with a time of 4 hours, 10 minutes and 34 seconds, while Frenchman Alexandre Giroud finished second with a difference of 44 seconds. Second, and Brazilian Marcelo Madrios arrived third, with a difference of 10 minutes and 31 seconds.
The Chilean driver Francisco Lopez Contardo “Chaleco” was able to write his name first in the category of light desert vehicles model “T3”, with a time of 3 hours, 48 minutes and 36 seconds, followed by the Belgian Guillaume de Mevios by two minutes, and after them the American Seth Quintero, who came in third place. With a difference of 3 minutes and 20 seconds, Saudi Arabia’s Dania Aqeel, driver of the “South Racing Can-Am” team, finished the race in fourteenth place, ahead of her compatriot Saleh Al-Saif, who arrived in fifteenth place.
Poland’s Eric Goczal, driver of the “Energy Landia Rally Team” team, won first place in the category of light commercial vehicles for desert production “T4”, recording 4 hours, 2 minutes and 44 seconds, a minute and 26 seconds behind the Spaniard Bo Navarro, who finished in second place, as well as Pole Michel Goczal. The driver of the “Energy Landia Rally Team” team ranked third, and the Lithuanian Rukas Pasiuska, the driver of the “Red Bull Can-Am” team and the leader of the preliminary round, dropped to tenth place, after imposing a 15-minute time penalty against him. due to his lack of commitment to the specified path.
In the trucks category, Czech Martin Macek, driver of the “MM Technology Team” team, was able to confirm his leadership in the preliminary round, and to continue to lead in the first stages, with a time of 3 hours, 46 minutes and 35 seconds, while his compatriot Alice Lubris, driver of the “InstaForex” team, came. In the second place, with a difference of 5 minutes and 46 seconds, and the third place in this category, was the share of the Dutchman Martin van Diebrink, driver of the “Eurol Team de Rooy”, with a difference of 10 minutes and 13 seconds.
The second stage (Yanbu – Al-Ula) is scheduled to start this morning, Monday, for a distance of 589 km, of which 159 km is for the link stage, and 430 km is for the special stage, which is subject to timing.