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Dakar 2024: BRX complete one of Saudi’s toughest stages

Dakar 2024: BRX complete one of Saudi’s toughest stages

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BRX's Sébastien Loeb in his Prodrive Hunter throws up sand as he rounds a corner during stage 1 of the 2024 Dakar Rally

The first big stage of Dakar 2024 was exactly as the organisers predicted it would be; tough, long and with the strong possibility to spread the field out over 414kms of volcanic rock fields along the way from AlUla towards Al Henakiyah near the holy city of Medina. The Bahrain Raid Xtreme crew of Sébastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin set off eighth from the start line, immediately intent on being cautious heeding the words from Dakar Director David Castera.
The predictions were correct with some of the hardest terrain seen in many years for the Ultimate class cars seeing them pushed to the absolute limit and beyond. Seb and Fabian had a puncture at 70kms and then drove slowly to take care of the car over a brutal landscape that made 150kms of rocks from km 220 to km 380, for the majority of the time staying in third gear to check the speed
Following a bent steering arm that needed to be replaced, Loeb and Lurquin set the 18th best time on the stage, something they were still happy with considering the time that can be lost on stages such as thi
The BRX Hunter arrived into the bivouac this evening for the Prodrive crew to refresh the car ready for tomorrow’s even longer stage of 470kms as the rally forges forward right into the heart of Saudi Arabia and a familiar overnight stop of Al Duwadimi. The temperatures are rising with the ambient being 29 celsius today but inland it looks to further test all the competitors on the this mammoth event.

Sébastien Loeb - BRX: “That was not an easy stage but they did tell us that before the start. We had a puncture after 70kms but after that we knew the rest of the stage would be very hard for the tyres and the car with big stones everywhere, so we took it a little bit easily. Then I broke the steering arm so we had to change that in the stage and that’s not so quick to swap over so I think we lost 10 or 12 minutes. It was a long day that was not so interesting from the driving side but more a question of surviving but in the end we did that.”

Gus Beteli, BRX Team Principal: “A very difficult day as expected with a lot of rocks over a long stage so Seb and Fabian did what we planned which was to bring the car back in one piece. It’s still a very long rally so we’re confident we’ll get any lost time back.”

 

Source: BRX's official press release

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