Four in a row for Sébastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin (Bahrain Raid Xtreme) on the Dakar 2023! The Franco-Belgian tandem indeed signed their fourth consecutive stage victory this Thursday, January 12 Shaybah (Saudi Arabia) and the heart of the Empty Quarter, theater of the first half of the marathon stage.
The vice-world champions of rally-raid (W2RC) have already won their fifth special on this Dakar 2023. Such statistics are unprecedented for the Alsatian on this rally-raid. In fact, we have to go back to the 2009 edition, the first contested in South America, to find a pilot author of a series of four scratch times on the Dakar, in the person of carlos sainz on Volkswagen.
This first stage in the Quart-Vide desert did not lead to any major selections. Prodrive signs a double thanks to the second time of Guerlain Chicherit and Alex Winocq (GCK), while the top 10 is held in 10 minutes.
The only hybrid Audi RS Q e-tron still in the running, that of Mattias Ekström and Emil Bergkvist set the third fastest time, ahead of Lucas Moraes and Timo Gottschalk (Toyota), who maintained their second place overall. However, the Brazilian rookie only has a nine-minute margin over Sébastien Loeb with three stages to go.
Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel (Toyota) remain comfortably leaders of the 2023 Dakar with a substantial margin of 1h21′ over Moraes.
In the T3 category, a disaster occurred for the Guillaume de Mévius and François Cazalet (G Rally Team). Leaders of the class for a week with more humane means than the competition, the Belgian driver and his French co-driver fell in the standings due to a mechanical problem which held them up for more than an hour. The head of the T3 is now occupied by Austin Jones (Can-Am).
Dakar 2023 classification – Stage 11:
General classification :