Nasser Al-Attiyah won Stage 4 of the 2022 Dakar Rally, extending his lead over competitors Yazeed Al Rajhi and Carlos Sainz, who both had problems late in the stage.
Three-time Dakar winner Al-Attiyah set the early pace, with teammate Henk Lategan taking command at the third waypoint.
At the eighth waypoint, Sainz moved clear of the Toyotas, and his electric Audi swiftly created a one-minute advantage. However, a broken bearing on his car forced him to limp to the finish line, preventing him from winning the second stage in a row.
Following the Spaniard’s mechanical issues, Al Rajhi took a provisional victory in the Overdrive Toyota, going faster than Al-Attiyah in the 40km stretch between waypoints 8 and 9.
However, there was drama in the stage after Al Rajhi was penalized two minutes for speeding, allowing Al-Attiyah to come through and win the stage for the second time in 2022. The Qatari rally driver completed only 25 seconds ahead of his World Rally icon Sebastien Loeb, who came in second for the Prodrive-run Bahrain squad after a catastrophe on Tuesday.
Sainz finished third, 52 seconds behind Al-Attiyah, and Al Rajhi finished fifth behind Yasir Seaidan’s best X-raid Mini. On the factory Toyota, Giniel de Villiers finished sixth, while Orlando Terranova finished tenth in the sister Prodrive car.
The longest stage of the Dakar 2022 rendered several cars inactive starting with Lategan who stopped 310 kilometers into the stage owing to a problem with his rear-right wheel, prompting him to call Toyota’s support team for assistance. On the other hand, Stephane Peterhansel had to also wait for help when a shock absorber on his Audi cracked during a jump.
Due to unknown troubles, Peterhansel’s teammate Mattias Ekstrom dropped roughly 40 minutes in the stage, leaving Sainz as the lead Audi driver in the overall standings in 16th place.
Nasser Al-Attiyah maintains his overall lead in his pursuit of a fourth Dakar victory, with the margin between him and his closest opponent Loeb remaining almost steady at 38m05s.
The complete top ten in the cars is:
1. Al-Attiyah 3.54.40
2. Loeb +0.25
3. Sainz +0.52
5. Al-Rajhi +1.46
6. de Villiers +3.55
7. ten Brinke +4.07
9. Serradori +6.43
10. Terranova +8.38