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DAKAR RALLY 2022: Al-Attiyah Marks Territory In The Dakar Prologue

Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota) showed from the outset his status as a favorite in the 44th edition of the Dakar, which began this Saturday, and prevailed in the 19-kilometer prologue with a time of 10 minutes and 56 seconds, leading by 12 seconds to the Spanish Carlos Sainz (Audi) and in 36 to the South African Brian Baragwanath (Century Racing).

A short first day of competition in the special stage (special) but with great importance since, in addition to counting for the final classification, the first 15 will choose, in reverse order, their position at the start of special 1B, being able to avoid opening the track or leaving too far behind and be harmed by traffic.

In addition, the prologue will help the drivers to continue adapting to their cars, since they have 815 kilometers of link ahead (with a maximum speed established between 100 and 120 kilometers per hour) until they reach the camp in Ha'il.

From day one he wanted to mark Al-Attiyah territory. The Qatari, winner of three editions of the Dakar (2011, 2015 and 2019) recognized in the previous one that winning the fourth in Saudi Arabia was something "very important for him", and he did not want to leave anything behind. 19 kilometers with more than half (57 percent) on sand in 10 minutes and 56 seconds to lead the classification.

Dakar 2022: The Key Stages Of The Dakar 2022

Behind him are his main rivals, with the exception of Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel, a 14-time Dakar winner - six on a motorcycle and eight in a car - who dropped one minute and 12 seconds.

The one who did squeeze Al-Attiyah was his partner at Audi, which presents an innovative hybrid vehicle, Carlos Sainz. Only 12 seconds were the Spanish and behind, and with the same time both (11:32) the South Africans Baragwanath and Henk Lategan (Toyota).

Frenchman Sebastien Loeb (Bahrain Raid Xtreme) finished in fifth place, 37 seconds behind leader Al-Attiyah, followed by local driver Yazeed Al Rajhi (Toyota) with 11 minutes and 43 seconds, while Spaniard Nani Roma (Bahrain Raid Xtreme) ), winner of the Dakar in motorcycles in 2004 and in cars in 2014, finished in seventh place (11 minutes and 45 seconds).

"Don't Tell Anyone ... Here I Am"

A first day of competition without surprises before starting the real fire. A 334-kilometer special awaits the pilots and co-drivers tomorrow Sunday, starting and finishing in Ha'il, where the tracks, and consequently the navigation, will be the keys to achieving a good result.

This is the second stage of the Dakar 2022

Today, January 2, the second stage of the 2022 Dakar Rally takes place with the start and finish in Ha'il (546 kilometers with a total of 334 timed). Northern Saudi Arabia offers mountainous landscapes that add to the contrasts on the Dakar journey. The sand makes an appearance, although at this stage it will still be mainly in the form of tracks.

In the car category, Nasser Al-Attiyah will defend his leading position on terrain suitable for his driving style. The Spanish Carlos Sainz will seek his first victory in this edition of the Dakar today.

In any case, there will be no lack of navigation difficulties characteristic of the country. The pilots will immediately enter into the matter: no taking liberties with the road book, since they will be penalized with chronometric sanctions.

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