MOTORSPORT

Dakar Stage 4 proved unfavourable for local racers

Stage 4 finally allowed the drivers to open up their cars without as much concern about tyre damage, leading to some exciting racing at the front of the pack.

Jordan Schmidt
January 10, 2024
No items found.

Dakar Stage 4 proved unfavourable for local racers

 

The first three days of the Dakar proved to be a tough start for many drivers and an early end for a few of the motorcycle riders. The rocks proved to be an issue for tyre longevity, while navigation also proved tough. Day 4 brought with it a sense of excitement, as the lack of rocks allowed for better driver confidence.

 

During the fourth stage, which covered 631km of mostly manageable terrain, Sebastien Loeb demonstrated his capability of setting a fast pace if his car was in good running order and his navigation was precise, finishing on the top step at the end of the stage.

 

Continuing to climb up the leaderboard with each stage result, Carlos Sainz Sr.'s consistent performance is evident as he finished 4th at the end of the day and maintained his overall standing in second. The local Saudi driver, Yazeed Al Rajhi, continues to dominate, finishing second on the stage, 4 minutes and 29 seconds behind Sebastien Loeb, and maintaining his overall lead.

 

Unfortunately, Stage 4 proved to be a tough challenge for our local boys. Our fastest local driver, Guy David Botterill, paired with Brett Cummings, finished 16th, with Giniel De Villiers and navigator Dennis Murphy following them in 19th.

 

Furthermore, the stage turned detrimental for young Toyota Gazoo Racing SA racer Saood Variawa, who suffered mechanical issues from the start line, resulting in limited power. His luck worsened with a puncture 50 kilometres into the stage, significantly affecting his time and forcing a 106th-place finish at the end of the fourth stage.

 

The stage results are as follows:

  1. 203, Sebastien Loeb, Bahrain raid Xtreme
  2. 201, Yazeed Al Rajhi, Overdrive Racing
  3. 200, Nasser Al-Attiyah, Nasser Racing
  4. 204, Carlos Sainz, Team Audi Sport
  5. 202, Stephane Peterhansel, Team Audi Sport
  6. 212, Mathieu Serradori, Century Racing Factory Team
  7. 221, Guillaume De Mevius, Overdrive Racing
  8. 214, Vaidotas Zala, X-Raid Arijus Team
  9. 222, Simon Vitse, MD Rallye Sport
  10. 208, Martin Prokop, Orlen Jipocar Team

 

For those who prefer machines of the two-wheel variety, there's a South African battling the dunes on his own with his KTM 450 Rally Replica. Bradley Cox, who races for the BAS World KTM Racing Team, is off to a rather encouraging start, currently holding the 21st position after the opening stages.

 

As the drivers head off to tackle the 645km Stage 5, we hope for better luck for Saood and trust that our guys will keep their right foot buried deep in the carpet. Although it is still in its early stages, Dakar 2024 has already proved to be a thrilling spectacle.

related content

Newsletter

Get Top Gear SA news and reviews in your inbox

Enter your email address to receive regular Top Gear SA newsletters

By clicking below you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear SA. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

NEWS

The introduction of the SVI AK47 Golf 8 GTI adds an essential layer of protection.

SVI debuts armoured VW Golf GTI 8 as the ultimate bulletproof ally

Nissan unveils its plans for the refreshed R35, which appears to be alive and kicking.

Nissan’s R35 GT-R legend lives on

Does the four-cylinder C63 deliver on the promise or detracts from Merc’s iconic compact sports sedan recipe?

EXCLUSIVE SA FIRST DRIVE: Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance

One of the nation's largest gatherings of like-minded enthusiasts is fast approaching.

Old-school cool: The Classic Car Show is back in town

Drawing ​inspiration from its predecessor, it promises more competency than ever.

BMW 1 Series debuts with added features and appeal

LATEST FROM TOP GEAR SA