Video: Yazeed Al-Rajhi almost crashes into a spectator at Dakar

Yazeed Al-Rajhi almost crashes into a spectator at Dakar

Overdrive Toyota’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi almost crashed into a spectator during Tuesday’s Dakar Rally stage, losing the lead.

In an odd moment during the 2024 Dakar Rally’s fourth stage, Yazeed Al-Rajhi almost crashed into a spectator in a pickup which unexpectedly sped towards him.

Al-Rajhi secured his best single stage finish of the 2024 Dakar Rally after finishing second to Sebastien Loeb in the 299-kilometer special between Al Salamiyah and Al-Hofuf.

Towards the end of the stage, however, the Saudi driver only managed to avoid a head-on collision with a spectator. As the 42-year-old drove his Overdrive Toyota Hilux fast to exit a dune, he ran into a spectator driving a pick-up truck and almost crashed.

The event organizers denied knowledge of the incident, but a video of it appeared on social media platform X, showing the Saudi driver swerving to the right to avoid the approaching car.

Al-Rajhi uploaded a video message in Arabic describing the near-miss.

Prodrive racer Naasser Al-Attiyah’s team member assisted in translating the message, which urged spectators to give the rally cars enough room for safety given that they drive incredibly fast on the desert terrain.

In the same video, Al-Rajhi also mentioned an incident involving his teammate Lionel Baud hitting a photographer on the first stage of Dakar, who had to be taken to a local hospital .

He also mentioned the loss of a bystander who perished in the South American rally-raid in 2016. He also urged onlookers to exercise greater caution when witnessing the action from the sidelines.

The Overdrive contender, who now has the incident behind him, will go into the fifth stage with a slight but noteworthy 4m19s lead over Carlos Sainz Sr. who finished fourth on Tuesday.

Al-Attiyah has risen to third place overall in the rankings despite losing the Stage 4 victory to Prodrive teammate Loeb in the last-ditch sprint to the finish. Lucas Moraes, the 2023 Dakar Rookie of the Year, is leading the factory Toyota team in fourth place, over 19 minutes behind Al-Rajhi.

The 46th edition of Dakar has been dominated by several on-track incidents. Besides Al-Rajhi’s close call with an onlooker and Baud’s run-in with a photographer, Century’s Tom Coronel collided with bike rider Philippe Gendron at the final leg of Stage 3.

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