Both Joan Barreda Bort and Nasser Al-Attiyah returned to the top of the daily time tables in today’s Dakar Rally stage from Wadi Ad-Dawasir to Riyadh. In what has been an up-and-down rally for the biggest names in both the motorcycle and car classes so far, Barreda’s time of 2:46:50 and Al-Attiyah’s time of 2:35:59 allowed them to take their second and third stage victories of the event, respectively.
Neither was enough to give the Dakar veterans the overall lead, though both are within striking distance. After giving up the overall lead yesterday, Barreda is now back in second place on the bikes, just 15 seconds behind today’s fifth place finisher and new overall leader Xavier de Soultrait. American Skyler Howes slid back to fifth overall after a 20th place finish on stage today, while Toby Price also gave up ground with a 22nd place finish and Ricky Brabec’s struggles continued with an 18th place. Brabec’s Dakar title defense currently sits at 15th overall, just over 16 minutes back of the lead.
Al-Attiyah continues to chip away at the overall car lead of Stephane Peterhansel, which is now down to under four minutes despite Peterhansel’s second place finish today. The cream of the car crop has begun to assert itself, however, with rookie Henk Lategaan’s second straight daily podium allowing him to crack the overall top five. Sebastien Loeb’s fourth place finish on stage today has him fourth overall, and his sights are set on Carlos Sainz, who has now slipped to third overall after faltering at the end of today’s stage.
In the T4 SSV class, Aron Domzala’s first stage victory of the year allowed him to cut three minutes into Chaleco Lopez’s overall lead, as Lopez finished fourth on stage. Domzala beat Dakar rookie Michal Goczal by 2:44 for today’s victory, with American Austin Jones coming home third on the day and maintaining third overall. In the T3 lightweight vehicles, fellow American and event rookie Seth Quintero is now the overall leader after a third place finish on stage today; WRC veteran Kris Meeke and Quintero’s teammate Mitch Guthrie Jr. were first and second of the T3 racers, while incoming T3 leader Cristina Gutierrez Herrero gave up nearly an hour with multiple stops on the road to Riyadh.
There are no two classes that could be more different in their fights for the lead, meanwhile, than the quad and truck classes. While Dmitry Sotnikov continues to run away with the truck lead, which is now up to 26 minutes after another stage victory, the quad leaders are separated by an event-low nine seconds. Nicolas Cavigliasso is the current leader by that margin over Alexandre Giroud, with today’s stage winner Manuel Andujar now third. American Pablo Copetti struggled today, giving up 43 minutes on stage to finish 11th on the day and fall to fifth overall. Marc Douton continues to dominate the Dakar Classic stage, with another stage win and a 554-point advantage over Juan Donatiu.
Tomorrow’s stage takes the bivouac from Riyadh to Al Qaisumah, with 456 kilometers of special stages and a further 205 kilometers of transit. As always, American Dakar fans can tune in to NBCSN today at 6PM ET/3PM PT for a recap of the past two days of action.
2021 Dakar Rally Stage 4 Winners
- Motorcycle: Joan Barreda Bort, 2:46:50
- Quad: Manuel Andujar, 3:29:13
- Car: Nasser Al-Attiyah, 2:35:59
- Lightweight Prototype: Kris Meeke, 3:18:42
- SSV: Aron Domzala, 3:16:57
- Truck: Dmitry Sotnikov, 2:58:47
- Classic: Marc Douton, 73 points
2021 Dakar Rally Overall Rankings
|1st||X. de Soultrait||N. Cavigliasso||S. Peterhansel||F. Lopez Contardo||D. Sotnikov|
|2nd||J. Barreda||A. Giroud||N. Al-Attiyah||A. Domzala||M. Macik|
|3rd||R. Branch||G. Enrico||C. Sainz||A. Jones||A. Shibalov|
|4th||K. Benavides||M. Andujar||S. Loeb||S. Kariakin||A. Mardeev|
|5th||S. Howes||P. Copetti||H. Lategaan||S. Quintero||A. Loprais|