After dropping most of the hour to Al-Athiya in a mechanical failure and navigation drama in the first week, Loeb started a strong comeback in the second half of the rally, a series of fast times including a stage 8 victory. Was set. To get his Qatar rivals out of his seat.
However, the gap with Al Atya eventually turned out to be too big to overcome, forcing him to settle in second place. Missed the top spot in 27 minutes and 46 seconds..
Defeat means that Loeb has to wait at least another year to win Dakar’s first victory, and the French have never finished second or higher in six attempts in the last seven years.
But Loeb wasn’t too worried about the 2022 finals, and given how well Toyota was in line with the Prodrive-manufactured BRX hunters, he could do nothing more to close the gap with Al Atiya. It states that it did not.
“Given that we were late from the beginning and there weren’t any big gaps in the stage, we were 50 minutes late from the moment we lost time due to technical issues and navigation errors, and then we could just try. I will work hard to fill in. ”
“That’s what we did. Since then we’ve done a great rally and haven’t made any mistakes. We’ve always driven hard with good navigation.
“I went back a few minutes here and there, but it was a rally with no big gaps on the stage.
“I think all the cars are pretty close today. There are a lot of cars that have a good level, tightness and are fighting on the front lines more than in other times for the main crew.
“So it’s hard to make big gaps, hard to fill the time, and in the end, Nasser did a perfect rally. I don’t think I could do any more. There’s nothing embarrassing.”
# 201 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota: Nasser Al-Attiyah, Matthieu Baumel
Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
Friday’s success marked Alatiya’s fourth title in Dakar and the second title in Toyota, putting him jointly second on the list of the most Dakar wins in the car category.
The 51-year-old admitted that it would be difficult to switch to a more conservative approach this year as he had to flat out against the X-raid Mini in the last two editions of the rally.
“We built a big gap from day one and managed it to the end,” he said.
“In the second week, I controlled it by leaving a few minutes in second place in Cebu.
“It wasn’t easy to manage because we were strong and needed to focus. The speed we were doing was very slow. It’s usually pushing, so this isn’t easy for me. There was no.
“Before the rally, first I said that the main target is Cebu, it will be a fight all the time, but we are really lucky and have a good time from the first week in Dakar I did. “
Additional report by Sergio Lillo
Dakar Rally 2nd place “Nothing is embarrassing”
https://www.autosport.com/dakar/news/loeb-second-place-in-dakar-rally-nothing-to-be-ashamed-of/7298806/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-ALL&utm_term=News&utm_content=uk Dakar Rally 2nd place “Nothing is embarrassing”