The Dakar 2022 winners took their revenge after a mechanical breakage from the 5th km set them back.
Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah has once again made his country proud by recording the fastest time at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (ADDC) just 24 hours after a tragic crash in the first stage.
The rally champion bagged the second stage win alongside his French co-driver Mathieu Baumelin in the 316 km special staged around Qasr Al Sarab on Monday, March 7.
Racing in Toyota Gazoo, the Qatari-French duo finished the stage in 4:25:11, followed by Frenchman Sebastian Loeb, Saudi driver Yazeed Al Rajhi and overall leader Stephen Peterhansel.
However, the Gulf nation’s favorite still has a long way to make up for his 24-hour delay after a mechanical failure from the 5th km on Day 1. It damaged the front right wheel of his car and left him 20 hours behind.
But the winners of the Dakar 2022 are not giving up.
“Now we will try and win every day to take maximum points like we did today. We did quite a good job, I am quite happy. We have to now work for the points. Today we won five and I hope to win five points tomorrow as well,” said Al Attiyah.
“It’s a disappointment not to win the rally because it is my favourite rally. We need to accept what happened yesterday. This is a motorsport. Now we must try to push the limit of the car, like we did it today.”
For now, Stéphane Peterhansel, winner of a record nine World Rally Championship titles, remains in the lead in the general standings ahead of Al Rajhi, who is now 7’49’ behind the French driver.
Martin Prokop earned the third spot at 15’50’’, while Jakub Przygonski came 4th at 40’07’’ and Mathieu Serradori 5th at 1h01’38’’.
Meanwhile, the fourth quickest on stage Stephen Petershansel finished the leg in his Audi RS Q e-Tron hybrid and even lost a few minutes to Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Dirk von Zitzewitz (Toyota).
.@s_peterhansel and Edouard Boulanger are already back in the bivouac with the #208 Audi RS Q e-tron*. Today’s special stage finish was directly next to the bivouac.
— Audi Sport (@audisport) March 7, 2022
Scoring fifth in the general classification, Mathieu Serradori and Loïc Minaudier (Century) concede more than half an hour, while nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb, set the second-fastest time on the day in his Prodrive Hunter.