- No fear of Friday the 13th - Lucas Moraes and Timo Gottschalk master third "Dakar" stage in Empty Quarter
- Mighty dunes, sand in all shapes, colors and flavors: 167 kilometers of hard work for man and machine
- Brazilian-Brandenburg duo finishes third in Dakar Rally, sensational podium within reach
Realism instead of superstition: As expected, Lucas Moraes and Timo Gottschalk lost second place in the overall standings at the 2023 Dakar Rally, but at the same time greatly improved their chances of a sensational podium. In any case, there was no cause for paraskavedekatriaphobia - the fear of Friday the 13th - because the Brazilian-Brandenburg duo brought their Toyota Hilux to the finish as usual without any major mishap or technical problem, finished tenth on the twelfth stage and thus continue to rank surprisingly on the podium. They merely countered the attack by Sébastien Loeb/Fabian Lurquin (FRA/BEL, Prodrive), who had recently won five special stages in a row, with controlled risk. With a view to the big picture, a possible top-three finish, this was a well-chosen strategy: Moraes/Gottschalk also extended their lead over their fourth- and fifth-placed brand colleagues to just under an hour.
The twelfth day of the Dakar Rally turned out to be like the eleventh: Mainly held in steep dunes and interrupted by fast passages over bulkheads, soft sand was the dominant element. All levels of difficulty were demanded of the competitors in terms of surfing and crossing the dunes. The special stage was the conclusion of a trilogy in the Empty Quarter. Over the next two days, the "Dakar" will now work its way back northwest over the remaining 290 kilometers of the special stage, where the finish awaits on Sunday in the Persian Gulf.
Automatich translation from the original German version