Dakar Rally Stage 6: Giniel moves to 6th overall as Sainz takes the lead

Published Jan 12, 2024


By: Double Apex

The sixth stage of the 2024 Dakar Rally was a two-part affair. The 48 Hr Chrono, as it is called, dished up plenty of drama. Read more about the stage here. The bulk of the fast crews had just a few km to go on Friday morning to complete 2024 Dakar stage 6. An early start meant that most were done with the stage by the time we were having breakfast in SA.

12 of the front-running cars made it to an overnight stop that left just 112km to drive on Friday. There was no connectivity at the overnight camps, which meant no crew had any idea of where they were in relation to their rivals.

The Audis of Carlos Sainz and Mattias Ekstrom proved to be quick again on the stage. Their teammate Stephane Peterhansel lagged after a hydraulic issue caused a long delay on Thursday.

Another driver who ground to a halt was Nasser Al-Attiyah (Prodrive Hunter). The Qatari driver already lost 19 minutes racing in the dunes on Stage 5. Friday morning’s issue seemed to be mechanical as he was stopped for over two hours.

Sebastien Loeb proved to be the man on form in the Empty Quarter. The Frenchman came out of the blocks at full tilt on Friday morning. He put in a sterling performance to take the stage win by just over two minutes. He finished ahead of Carlos Sainz, who was near or at the top of the timesheets since the get-go of 2024 Dakar stage 6.

Bahrain Raid Xtreme's French driver Sebastien Loeb. Picture: Patrick Hertzog / AFP.

Mattias Ekstrom was third ahead of the Hilux of Lucas Moraes. Guerlain Chicherit planted his Toyota in fifth after overcoming a bout of ‘dune sickness’ yesterday. The top-finishing South African driver was, once again, Giniel de Villiers in seventh place.

New Leader

Carlos Sainz takes over the overall lead of the race going into the rest day on Saturday. He leads Ekstrom by just over twenty minutes and Loeb a further nine minutes back.

De Villiers has climbed to sixth in the overall classification. This makes his the top placed SA driver on the table. Al-Attiyah’s issue this morning have cost him dearly, dropping him far down the order. His chances of a third Dakar win on the bounce are fading fast.

The racers now take the traditional mid-race break and will not be racing on Saturday. Racing will resume on Sunday. The top three cars are covered by less than 30 minutes, which is not a lot in this form of racing. As we have already seen this week, anything can, and usually does, happen at the the Dakar Rally.

Overall Standings after 2024 Dakar Stage 6

  • 1. Carlos Sainz (Audi) 24 hr 59 min 32 sec
  • 2. Mattias Ekstrom (Audi) +20 min 21 sec
  • 3. Sebastien Loeb (BRX) +29 min 31 sec
  • 4. Lucas Moraes (Toyota Gazoo Racing) +1 hr 04 min 00 sec
  • 5. Guillaume de Mevius (Overdrive Toyota) +1 hr 09 min 47 sec
  • 6. Giniel de Villiers (Toyota Gazoo Racing) +1 hr 25 min 16 sec
  • 7. Martin Prokop (Orlen) +1 hr 35 min 04 sec
  • 8. Mathieu Serradori (CRT) +1 hr 52 min 20 sec
  • 9. Guy Botterill (Toyota Gazoo Racing) +1 hr 54 min 41 sec
  • 10. Guerlain Chicherit (Overdrive Toyota) +1 hr 58 min 34 sec

* This article originally appeared on Double Apex and is used with their permission.

Related Topics:

motor racing4x4