Dakar 2022, Stage 6: Terranova wins, drama for Loeb
Orlando Terranova won the sixth stage of the 2022 Dakar Rally for the Prodrive-run Bahrain team, while Nasser Al-Attiyah extended his overall advantage despite finishing only 10th.
The lead changed hands several times during the 348km special near Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh, with Audi’s Carlos Sainz, Overdrive Toyota driver Yazeed Al Rajhi, and Al-Attiyah all enjoying stints at the front.
But ultimately it was Prodrive’s third driver Terranova who ended the day quickest of all, scoring his first Dakar stage win since 2015 by just over a minute over Audi rival Mattias Ekstrom.
The Argentine driver had been trailing Al-Attiyah by 28 seconds after the sixth waypoint at 221km, but moved into the lead when the factory Toyota driver mysteriously fell off the pace in the final 127km stretch to the finish line.
Al-Attiyah’s troubles also promoted two-time DTM champion Ekstrom to second, the Swedish driver recording his best-ever stage finish on the electric Audi RS Q e-tron.
Al Rajhi was eventually classified third, just 1m49s down on Terranova, while Brian Baragwanath was a strong fourth for the Century team.
2014 winner Nani Roma rebounded from a difficult last few days in the Dakar, which included a rollover on Stage 4 that left him out of contention for outright honours, to finish fifth for Prodrive.
However, despite Terranova’s stage win and Roma’s top-five result, it was hardly a dream result for Prodrive as its top contender Sebastien Loeb lost 25 minutes after taking the wrong route earlier in the stage.
Although he did recoup some time later on, he ended the stage down in 28th place, suffering a severe blow to his hopes of a maiden Dakar win.
Loeb’s troubles came as a blessing for his chief rival Al-Attiyah, who extended his lead in the overall standings to 50 minutes despite finishing only 10th - his worst stage finish of Dakar 2022.
With the first half of the rally complete, Loeb has dropped to third place in the general classification, six seconds behind the top Overdrive Toyota of Al Rajhi.
Al Rajhi’s teammate Lucio Alvarez sits fourth, with Jakub Przygonski completing the top five for X-raid Mini.
Ekstrom is now Audi’s highest-placed driver in the overall standings in 13th, just half an hour away from a place inside the top 10.
Sainz has dropped to 21st after another difficult stage in which he finished over 40 minutes off the pace.
Overall standings after Stage 6:
|2||205||Yazeed Al Rajhi||TOYOTA||21:27:43||+00:50:19||00:02:00|
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