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Peterhansel ensures Audi’s third stage win

The tenth stage of the Dakar Rally 2022 in Saudi Arabia ensured the third day victory for the new Audi RS Q e-tron. For Stephane Peterhansel it was the first stage win this year. In the overall standings, Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota) defended a lead of 32:40 minutes over Sebastien Loeb (BRX).

On Wednesday, a total of 759 kilometers were on the program from Wadi Ad-Dawasir to Bischa. The rated special covered 375 kilometers. Dunes hardly played a role, rather the terrain was rocky. Navigation was in demand in the canyons.

Al-Attiyah subsequently received a five-minute penalty for an offense in the eighth stage. After changing tires, he and co-driver Matthieu Baumel drove for 1:45 minutes without seat belts and neck protection (similar to HANS).

Again a duel developed between Al-Attiyah and Loeb. Loeb drove out a few seconds to waypoint two. The French attacked while Al-Attiyah focused on keeping Loeb at bay and defending his lead.

Loeb loses a lot of time

But then Loeb lost over four minutes on Peterhansel and around one on Al-Attiyah up to 212 km. Loeb was able to close the gap to Al-Attiyah again up to kilometer 268, but the Frenchman made up practically no time for the overall standings.

Finally, Loeb and Al-Attiyah finished fifth and sixth in the day’s results. Loeb only caught up to a minute and a half. In the overall standings, Al-Attiyah’s lead is just under 33 minutes with two remaining stages.

Now the third Audi driver has also won a stage this year. Peterhansel secured the day’s victory on Wednesday ahead of his team-mate Carlos Sainz. The South African Henk Lategan (Toyota) again proved his talent in third place.

Peterhansel is still missing a win before the record

For Peterhansel it was the 49th stage win in the automobile class. He is only missing one on Ari Vatanen, who is the car record holder with 50 stage wins. Peterhansel also won 33 daily victories on a motorcycle.

After ten days, an Audi also made it into the top 10 in the overall standings. Mattias Ekström, who finished 13th today, moved up to tenth place. He is two hours and 42 minutes behind the leaders.

Local hero Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Toyota) defended third place in the overall standings behind Al-Attiyah and Loeb. Orlando Terranova (BRX) is still fourth. Behind them the order in the narrow field of pursuers changed.

Jakub Przygonski and Timo Gottschalk (Mini Buggy) made up one place and overtook Giniel de Villiers (Toyota). The Polish-German duo is now back in fifth place.

Tomorrow a loop will be driven north of Bischa. The special is 346 kilometers.

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