MOTORSPORT

Dakar Stage 10: The tyre shredder

The Saudi desert takes its toll on cars, with numerous punctures and damaged suspensions taking a toll on drivers.

Jordan Schmidt
January 18, 2024
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Dakar Stage 10: The tyre shredder

  

In what was believed to be an easier stage, the brutal landscape brought out some inspiring moments. Driver Seth Quintero came to the rescue by warning drivers of a dangerous drop on the trail, which damaged his suspension. Racing on foot across the desert to warn other cars of the imminent danger.

 

You'd think two spare tyres would be enough for one day of racing. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for Dakar leader Carlos Sainz Sr, who had three punctures on the stage and needed to borrow a tyre from his teammates to finish the race.

 

This timely mistake cost the leader, as he finished 25th on the stage, leaving the door wide open for Sebastien Loeb to close the gap. Unfortunately, his Prodrive continues to attract punctures, also forcing the current second-place team to plummet down the stage leaderboard.

 

Fortunately for Loeb, the unfortunate and time-consuming tyre changes were not as detrimental as Carlos Sainz's. Allowing for further time gains to be made, keeping the Prodrive in contention.

The South Africans keep stirring up conflicting sentiments. Brian Baragwanth finished second on the stage with an impressive ability to dodge the tyre-destroying rocks. Saood Variawa also continues to improve and is on the cusp of entering the top ten with his 11th-place finish in Stage 10.

 

Unfortunately for Giniel de Villiers, Stage 10 proved to be a tricky stage for his Hilux, further damaging their rank overall with a 27th-place finish. He's not out of the top 10 yet, but consistency in the remainder of the rally would be crucial for a solid finish from the Dakar ace.

 

The results for Stage 10 are as follows:

 

  1. 211, Guerlain Chicherit, Overdrive Racing

  2. 219, Brian Baragwanath, Century Racing Factory Team

  3. 223, Benediktas Vanagas, Toyota Gazoo Racing Baltics

  4. 227, Eugenio Amos, Overdrive Racing

  5. 231, Romain Dumas, Rebellion Racing

  6. 212, Mathieu Serradori, Century Racing Factory Team

  7. 205, Juan Cruz Yacopini, Overdrive Racing

  8. 245, Cristian Baumgart, X rally

  9. 208 Martin Prokop, Orlen Jipocar Team

  10. 221, Guillaume De Mevius, Overdrive Racing

 

A shorter stage lies ahead for the drivers tomorrow, with Stage 11 being a 420-kilometre segment. At this point, slower can prove to be faster, as tyre damage proves to be the biggest upset for the leaders at this point. Sebastien Loeb is closing in on the lead, but he needs to be consistently quicker than Carlos Sainz with an average margin of seven minutes per stage, so there is sure to be some exciting driving ahead.

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