Over the 395 km long Dakar rally stage to Wadi Ad-Dawasir in ever increasing heat from the searing sun, the Bahrain Raid Xtreme pairing of Sebastien Loeb/Fabian Lurquin set an equally hot pace in their Prodrive Hunter to take third place on the stage and maintain the top three finishes the new car has achieved on all but one of the Dakar’s eight stages so far. With four stages remaining the Frenchman is keeping the pressure on the overall leader of the rally from his current second place with 1,172 kilometres remaining.
Similar to Sebastien, team mates Orlando Terranova/Dani Oliveras pushed hard on the stage and finished sixth just 1m 45 seconds behind the Frenchman, proving once more the pace of the Hunter in the hands of the Argentine on his second rally with the BRX team. The result elevates them a further place up the overall leaderboard to fifth. Terranova caught another car early on and was then stuck behind it for some time until he could then get back up to full speed, but nonetheless a brilliant show of speed.
Nani Roma/Alex Haro were the perfect team players today as they waited for Orlando Terranova early in the stage so they were together over the difficult kilometres on a stage that was expected to be a really hard test on Dakar 2022. They overcame a suspension problem quickly and finished the stage safely to be ready again tomorrow to help the BRX team again.
Orlando Terranova said: “It’s great to be fifth overall now as that’s another place higher up the order for us. We lost a lot of time in Vasilyev’s dust as we were stuck behind him for over 120kms. We tried to push and pass him. I know we were close to Seb’s time which is great to see but frustrating too to be stuck behind someone for so long and then take big risks to get past them.”
Sebastien Loeb said: “It was not easy. We had to push really hard from the start to the end because we were opening the road, so we just wanted to stay ahead and not have Nasser following so we pushed hard very quickly. We had a puncture that we changed super fast before we got to the neutralisation (a stop point in the middle of the stage) but once there we discovered we had lost our other new spare wheel. It was the only new one we had so I had to be very careful towards the end and I lost time, but I think I did a good stage there. Fabian did all the right navigation, no mistakes so all we can do is push hard over these remaining stages with the Prodrive Hunter.”
Nani Roma said: “We waited at kilometre seven for Orlando so when he passed we followed him to be part of the team together. After the dunes we then hit a really rocky area that had a huge amount of dust so we had to be very careful, but then there were some bumpy parts and we did a jump, nothing hard or out of the ordinary as we’d taken 100,000 jumps harder but maybe we just clipped a rock so we had to repair the suspension quickly to then continue. The rest of the car is continuing to be perfect so thank you everyone at BRX once more for their work.”
Gus Beteli said: “A very long stage but a good one too at nearly 400 kilometres plus a long road section as well but very good results overall with Seb finishing third gaining seven minutes on Nasser as he pushes for the top spot. A really good run for Orlando to be sixth on the stage and in the top five overall which is a great position for him to have with the time he’s had in the car. Unfortunately, Nani had an issue and dropped back but once we can look at the cars in service and get ready for tomorrow and try again. There are still four stages to go and we’ll try, as we always have done on this rally, 100% again tomorrow.”