Rain disrupts Stage 3 of Dakar; Brabec crashes out

Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool

Rain disrupts Stage 3 of Dakar; Brabec crashes out

Off Road

Rain disrupts Stage 3 of Dakar; Brabec crashes out

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If dodging boulders was the story on the opening two stages of the 2023 Dakar Rally, then it was rain which dominated the race on day three. As the Dakar convoy traveled from Alula to Ha’il they found the last 100km of the track washed away. Even the shortened stage still measured 377km/234 miles and there was more than enough racing to shake up the leaderboards.

Nasser Al-Attiyah met the challenge to position himself at the front of the car race. He started the day over two minutes behind overall leader Carlos Sainz and he finished day three more than 10 minutes back from stage winner Guerlain Chicherit. But with that result, Al-Attiyah took the overall lead of for himself. The Qatari and Toyota co-driver Mathieu Baumel now hold an advantage of nearly 15 minutes over their nearest rival.

Part of the reason that Al-Attiyah was able to forge ahead was the misfortune suffered by Sainz. The Spaniard his co-driver Lucas Cruz were halted for almost half an hour in their Audi RS Q e-tron E2 on the way to Ha’il.

Team Audi Sport do still have one race crew inside the top 3, 14-time Dakar winner Stephane Peterhansel and co-driver Edouard Boulanger sit third overall.

Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team USA presented by BFGoodrich continued its strong start with a stage win for Austin Jones (pictured above) while Seth Quintero took the overall lead of the T3 category following Mitch Guthrie Jr.’s stage win yesterday.

Quintero/Dennis Zenz hold an overall lead of minute while Guthrie/Kellon Walch are third in the T3 general classification, one place ahead of Jones/Gustavo Gugelmin.

“I’m stoked we’re now leading the overall! Hoping to continue our consistency throughout the rest of the rally. It’s game on!”said Quintero

Taking charge of the bike race on Stage Three was Daniel Sanders of Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing. The 28-year-old Australian biker has been riding smart over the first three days of this Dakar and his reward is second place overall.

“The idea was to win the stage by catching the guys in front and it’s worked out really well,” said Sanders.

It was a different story for Ricky Brabec, as the American joined the list of major favorites who have exited the race prematurely. The Honda rider had a fall and, complaining of pain in his cervical vertebrae, he was transported to hospital in Ha’iI for further medical examinations. Following Sam Sunderland, within the space of three days, the rally has lost two of its former winners.

Instead, it’s fellow American Skyler Howes who holds third in the class for Husqvarna, while 2021 Dakar winner Kevin Benavides holds fourth.

After today’s downpour, Stage 4 will turn up the heat with 425km/264 miles against the clock. The loop stage around the Ha’il bivouac starts with a chain of dunes and also features navigational pitfalls throughout.

Selected Overall Standings after Stage 3

T1 Car Class

1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) TOYOTA 12:20:35
2. Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU) TOYOTA +13:19
3. Stephane Peterhansel (FRA) AUDI +20:45
7. Giniel De Villiers (ZAF) TOYOTA +32:08
8. Carlos Sainz (ESP) AUDI +33:11
9. Lucas Moraes (BRA) TOYOTA +33′ 45
12. Mattias Ekstrom (SWE) AUDI +41:21
28. Sebastien Loeb (FRA) BRX +01:35:49
57. Kuba Przygonski (POL) MINI +05:59:02
59. Laia Sanz (ESP) ASTARA +07:10:48

T3 Lightweight Prototype

1. Seth Quintero (USA) CAN-AM 13:52:06
2. Guillaume De Mevius (BEL) OT3 +01:01
3. Mitch Guthrie (USA) MCE5 +05:46
4. Austin Jones (USA) CAN-AM +06:55

T4 SSV
1. Marek Goczal (POL) CAN-AM 14:30:03
2. Rodrigo Luppi De Oliveira (BRA) CAN-AM +09:36
3. Eryk Goczal (POL) CAN-AM +31:15
4. Rokas Baciuska (LTU) CAN-AM +31:46

Bikes
1. Mason Klein (USA) KTM 14:03:50
2. Daniel Sanders (AUS) GASGAS +01:48
3. Skyler Howes (USA) HUSQVARNA +07:09
4. Kevin Benavides (ARG) KTM +10:41
6. Toby Price (AUS) KTM +12:48
9. Matthias Walkner (AUT) KTM +23:50

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