Sebastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin have taken their Prodrive Hunter to a third second place finish on the 2022 Dakar today following the 394 km fifth stage around Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. There is just one more 348 km stage in and out of Riyadh tomorrow before the mid event rest day. The battle between two giants of motorsport at the head of the world’s biggest motorsport event is sure to get closer as the Dakar continues with only half the rally distance completed.
Orlando Terranova/Dani Oliveras were on course for a top four position at the halfway point, but lost time over the second part of the stage, but were still able to set the ninth best time to move into eighth overall in the standings.
The BRX technicians worked all night to prepare the Hunter of Nani Roma/Alex Haro for today’s stage after their roll yesterday, a job that was completed at 6am with the car 100% ready for the huge task ahead of it over the desert sands and rocks. Roma finished the stage within ten minutes of the winner after over four hours of running again proving how competitive the world stage of Rally Raid is.
Sebastien Loeb said: “The stage was like we expected; we battled with Nasser (Al-Attiyah) and had a great side by side battle with me catching him and him catching me and I think we passed each other fifteen times in the stage. We did what we could and took nearly three minutes on him as that was the target this morning so we see tomorrow what will happen. It’s difficult to stretch things out further with these gaps off the line but we tried some things in the stage to try and get ahead. The car is good and still strong which is why we are in second overall so I cannot thank the guys in service at BRX and Fabian enough.”
Nani Roma said: “Today is the day to thank the mechanics after their work last night. It’s incredible to see the car all ready to go again when I woke up; it’s amazing what they’ve done and I cannot thank them enough. Alex and I found it a little difficult this morning, but soon we got the feeling back to be faster and to be close to Sebastien everyday to help him. It’s not the job that I thought of when we left Jeddah, but it’s part of the sport and part of the BRX team to be able to change and help for the best result.”
Orlando Terranova said: “It was a good day today even if we made some small mistakes, but it is nearly impossible to make a perfect stage on the Dakar but I feel quicker with more confidence and the car is running very well. It was a nice stage today with the dunes, fast tracks and stones to make a nice rally so far. The car is very good as it’s a very balanced car without too much oversteer, no ‘kicking’ from the back so we have the speed. From here on in the plan is to be constant to the finish with no mistakes from us.”
Gus Beteli said: “Very good day today on stage with seven to go. Seb managed to catch Nasser and have a race with him for the majority of the stage overtaking regularly, trying to pull a gap on him so finishing second on the stage and ahead of Nasser is what we need to do little by little. Orlando had the pace to win it today, but got stuck on a dune to lose a little bit of time but is still easily in the top ten overall while Nani and Alex are back in the rally after the guys worked all night to get the car back together and didn’t have a single issue so we will carry on with this spirit the for the remaining 2000 kilometres.”