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Dakar 2023: Al-Attiyah stays in front, more drama for Audi on Stage 7

With the stage for bikes and quads cancelled due to weather stipulations, Al-Attiyah had to begin the avenue within the 333km special between Riyadh and Al Duwadimi in his Toyota Hilux.

Carrying a lead of larger than an hour into the day, and with exterior assistance prohibited as half of the ‘marathon’ principles that veil both levels 7 and eight, the Qatari driver played it safe in his picture to defend his title, setting a time that provisionally set him 14th within the negate.

Alongside with his closest rival and Toyota teammate Henk Lategan doing no higher than sixth himself and making up shrimp time, Al-Attiyah will take an support of 1hr04m00s into the 2nd half of of the rally on Sunday.

With numerous frontrunners finishing out of space, the day’s honours went to Overdrive’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi, who claimed a convincing victory on home turf by almost 9 minutes over Teltonika Racing’s Vaidotoas Zala. 

Al-Rajhi and GCK Motorsport’s Guerlain Chicherit dueled for the lead early on in Saturday’s special, both procuring and selling the instances on the discontinue of the negate as they passed by technique of diverse checkpoints.

Ancient DTM megastar Mattias Ekstrom then asserted his authority by jumping the duo on the fifth checkpoint located 196km into the stage, but bother struck honest real just a few kilometres later when his Audi got here to a discontinue with a mechanical teach.

Teammate Carlos Sainz had to end heading within the correct path to present assistance and neither driver had made it to the set aside on the time of writing, in what became as soon as yet every other blow to the German manufacturer’s 2nd advertising and marketing and marketing campaign within the arena’s hardest rally-raid.

Ekstrom became as soon as already left as Audi’s handiest true contender after a punishing sixth stage on Friday that saw Sainz retire following a wreck and Stephane Peterhansel fully withdraw from the rally following injuries to his co-driver Edouard Boulanger in a separate incident.

#211 Team Audi Sport Audi: Mattias Ekstrom, Emil Bergkvist, #207 Team Audi Sport Audi: Carlos Sainz, Lucas Cruz

#211 Team Audi Sport Audi: Mattias Ekstrom, Emil Bergkvist, #207 Team Audi Sport Audi: Carlos Sainz, Lucas Cruz

Advise by: A.S.O.

With an Audi comeback now fully out of the search info from, Toyota continues to abet a 1-2-3-4 lead within the final standings, with factory duo Al-Attiyah and Lategan adopted by Overdrive’s Lucas Moraes and Giniel de Villiers within the closing works Hilux.

World Rally myth Loeb has now taken the set of the glorious non-Toyota within the working following Ekstrom’s troubles, though he trails Al-Attiyah by 1hr54m07s within the odd classification in fifth after a bothered dash to this level in his seventh look in Dakar.

The Bahrain Raid Xtreme driver done handiest ninth in Saturday’s stage, six locations within the support of Chicherit, who became as soon as utilizing the the same Prodrive-constructed Hunter as him.

Le Mans 24 Hours winner Romain Dumas has moved as a lot as sixth total in his Insurgent entry, forward of Brian Baragwanath (Century), Martin Prokop (Benzina), Wei Han (Hanwei) and Lionel Baud (Overdrive). 

Classification after Stage 7:

Scheme

Driver

Automobile

Time / gap

1

Nasser Al-Attiyah

Toyota

27hr26m23s 

2

Henk Lategan

Toyota

+1hr01m04s

3

Lucas Moraes

Toyota

+1hr11m24s

4

Giniel de Villiers

Toyota

+1hr36m47s

5

Sebastien Loeb

Prodrive

+1hr54m17s

6

Romain Dumas

Insurgent

+2hr12m30s

7

Brian Baragwanath

Century

+2hr14m40s

8

Martin Prokop

Benzina

+2hr17m26s

9

Wei Han

SMG +2hr51m38s

10

Lionel Baud

Toyota

+3hr17m59s

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