Al-Attiyah dominates the first special. Audi fast but late: navigation problems for Sainz

The Qatari of Toyota wins the heat of Ha’il in front of Loeb and immediately digs a good margin. The pilots of the German company in difficulty, Peterhansel crashes, navigation problems for Sainz

by our correspondent Paolo Ianieri

In a very complicated day in terms of navigation, with many drivers including cars, motorcycles and trucks to get lost in the final of the Ha’Il-Ha’Il Ring Special, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Toyota come out as the great winners of the special which in fact opened the Dakar, while at the same time the Audi drivers live a very complicated day.

“Round like an idiot”

But not for reliability problems linked to the complexity of the Q e-tron project, the electric prototype that debuts here in Arabia, but for the loss of the compass, literally, both of Carlos Sainz and Mattias Ekström, and at the checkpoint of km 240. they were not far from Al-Attiyah and then they got lost. “In 14 years of Dakar it had never happened to me to go around in circles like an idiot,” says Sainz very angry on arrival in the bivouac, after having accumulated a delay of 2 hours and 6 minutes. Up to the middle of the stage, however, the Spaniard was second. Second of the day, however, is Sebastien Loeb, with the Bahrain Raid Xtreme Staccato of 12 “, third Martín Prokop (Orlen) at 21”.

Peterhansel slams

On the other hand, Stephane Peterhansel was still on the road, who hit hard at the start of the special and had to wait for at least 6 hours for assistance before setting off again. In general, Al-Attiyah now leads with 12’44 “on Loeb and 22’39 on Prokop, former MotoGP rider Carlos Checa (Optimus MD) 23rd, Ekström’s best Audi, 37th at 1’30”, 46th Sainz at 2h07 ‘.

Rain protagonist

Tomorrow due to the rain the marathon stage has been canceled (without assistance), the special will be held regularly but we will then reach the Al Qaisumah bivouac with the riders who will then return back on Tuesday to compete in what would have been the second part of the marathon.

Car rankings

These are the classifications of cars and motorbikes at the end of the first stage of 514 km in Hail (of which 333 in special).

1. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (QAT/AND/Toyota) 3h19’57”
2. Sebastien Loeb / Fabian Lurquin (FRA / BEL / Prodrive) a 12’07 ”
3. Martin Prokop / Viktor Chytka (CZE / CZE / Ford) a 21’21 “
4.Lucio Alvarez/Armand Monleon (ARG/SPA/Toyota) a 26’31”
5.Vladimir Vasilyev / Oleg Uperenko (RUS / LAT / Bmw) a 27’52 “
6.Sebastian Halpern / Bernardo Graue (ARG / ARG / Mini) a 28’16 ”
7.Giniel De Villiers/Dennis Murphy (SAF/SAF/Toyota) a 32’43”
8. Guerlain Chicherit/Alex Winocq (FRA/Buggy) a 37’00”
9. Jakub Przygonski / Timo Göttschalk (POL / GER / Mini) a 40’50 “
10.Yazeed Al Rajhi / Michael Orr (KSA / GBR / Toyota) at 42’53 ”

1. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (QAT/AND/Toyota) 3h30’53”
2. Sebastien Loeb / Fabian Lurquin (FRA / BEL / Prodrive) a 12’44 ”
3. Martin Prokop / Viktor Chytka (CZE / CZE / Ford) a 22’39 “
4. Lucio Alvarez/Armand Monleon (ARG/SPA/Toyota) a 27’42”
5.Vladimir Vasilyev / Oleg Uperenko (RUS / LAT / Bmw) a 28’58 “

1. Daniel Sanders (AUS / Ktm) 3h43’10
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CIL / Honda) at 2’07 ”
3.Matthias Walkner (AUT/Ktm) a 8’31”
4.Mason Klein (USA/Ktm) a 8’44”
5. Lorenzo Santolino (SPA/Sherco Factory) a 10’04”
6.Adrien Van Beveren (FRA/Yamaha) at 10’06”
7. Xavier De Soultrait (FRA / Husqvarna) at 12’01 ”
8.Sam Sunderland (GB/Ktm) a 13’01”
9. Skyler Howes (USA/Husqvarna) a 16’17”
10.Ross Branch (BOT/Yamaha) a 17’26”

General motorcycle ranking:

1. Daniel Sanders (AUS / Ktm) 4h38’40 ”
2.Pablo Quintanilla (CIL / Honda) at 3’07 ”
3.Matthias Walkner (AUT/Ktm) a 11’06”
4. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA/Yamaha) at 12’46”
5. Mason Klein (USA/Ktm) a 14’34”.

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Al-Attiyah dominates the first special. Audi fast but late: navigation problems for Sainz