Having dropped to 3rd within the basic classification after two navigational errors on Friday, Loeb re-established himself as Al-Attiyah’s closest competitor with a commanding stage victory because the rally resumed with a 402km take a look at from Riyadh to Al Dawadimi.
The Prodrive/Bahrain group driver locked horns with Audi’s Carlos Sainz initially of Stage 7, trailing his former WRC teammate by simply 4 seconds 121km into the day’s aggressive working.
Nonetheless, by the subsequent waypoint he was greater than three minutes within the lead, ultimately clinching a sixteenth Dakar stage win by a formidable margin of 5m26s as Al-Attiyah jumped Sainz to complete second within the day’s order.
The Qatari driver was by no means within the hunt for victory within the seventh stage of the rally, dropping practically seven minutes behind Loeb at one level, however clawed again a number of the misplaced time to complete proper behind his nearest title rival.
#200 Workforce Audi Sport Audi: Stéphane Peterhansel, Edouard Boulanger
Picture by: A.S.O.
It was a robust day for Audi and its electrical RS Q e-tron challenger with Stephane Peterhansel ending up fourth behind teammate Sainz, 9m40s off the tempo of Loeb, and Mattias Ekstrom additionally bagging a spot inside the highest 10 in eighth.
They have been separated by the three Overdrive-run Toyota entries, led by Saudi driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi. Nani Roma was categorized ninth within the second Prodrive, whereas Vladimir Vasilyev propped up the highest 10 for VRT.
Within the basic classification, Al-Attiyah’s lead has been reduce all the way down to 44m59s by Loeb with the ultimate 5 levels to run, with Al Rajhi now the one different driver inside an hour of the three-time Dakar champion.
Al Rajhi’s teammate Lucio Alvarez sits fourth, whereas Jakub Przygonski continues to carry a spot inside the highest 5 for X-raid Mini.
Audi’s high challenger Ekstrom is now on the cusp of the highest 10 in twelfth, whereas Sainz has jumped to 18th within the provisional order.
General classification after Stage 7:
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