On the penultimate day of the 2022 Dakar Rally, Carlos Sainz won yet another stage for Audi, while Nasser Al-Attiyah moved closer to overall victory after finishing eighth.
Carlos Sainz won the 346-kilometer Stage 11 after overtaking Overdrive’s Lucio Alvarez at the third waypoint. On his way to a comfortable 3m10s triumph, the Spaniard effectively navigated the soft dunes near the end of the stage.
This was Sainz’s second Dakar stage win of the year, and Audi’s new hybrid RS Q e-tron contender’s fourth. Audi’s dominance in the second week of the 2022 Dakar Rally continued with the German manufacturer winning three of the five stages since the rest day on Saturday, with all three of its drivers claiming one victory each.
Sainz’s former World Rally Championship teammate Sebastien Loeb emerged as his main competitor as the Frenchman finished second after turning in another strong effort in his Prodrive-run BRX Hunter.
Loeb held a four-minute lead over Al-Attiyah, who finished eighth in his factory Toyota Hilux as his teammate Giniel de Villiers finished two places behind the Qatari driver in 10th. However, the Frenchman was given a five-minute penalty for over-speeding in a control zone, bringing the margin to Al-Attiyah back up to 33 minutes.
This gives Al Attiyah a massive 33m19s lead heading into Friday’s short final stage to Jeddah, leaving him in a strong position to win his fourth Dakar Championship title. The last time Al-Attiyah and Toyota won the Dakar was in 2019.
Following Loeb’s penalty, Alvarez finished second, three minutes behind stage winner Carlos Sainz, with Audi’s Mattias Ekstrom and Prodrive’s Nani Roma not far behind in third and fourth, respectively.
Having lost six minutes early in the stage, Peterhansel finished the stage with about the same margin as teammate Sainz, ending up sixth behind de Villiers in Toyota.
Despite a tough outing for X-raid Mini driver Jakub Przygonski, Saudi driver Yazeed Al Rajhi (Prodrive) has advanced to fourth and de Villiers to fifth in the overall standings.
2022 Dakar Rally Overall standings after Stage 11:
|1||Nasser Al Attiyah||TOYOTA||36:49:51||00:05:00|
|3||Yazeed Al Rajhi||TOYOTA||37:53:34||+01:03:43||00:00:35|
|5||Giniel de Villiers||TOYOTA||38:34:02||+01:44:11||00:05:00|