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Loeb, Barreda Narrowly Win Stage 4 of 2023 Dakar Rally; Guthrie Leads Light Prototype

Motorcycle class winner Joan Barreda and car class winner Sebastien Loeb won Stage 4 of the 2023 Dakar Rally by less than half a minute combined on Wednesday, conquering a 425-kilometer loop west of Ha’il by 16 and 13 seconds, respectively. Barreda’s 29th career stage win came after revised calculations limited the time credit to Nacho Cornejo as he stopped with Joaquim Rodrigues, while Loeb’s 17th career stage win came 13 seconds ahead of Audi’s Stephane Peterhansel.

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05 BARREDA Joan (spa), Monster Energy JB Team, Moto, Motul, action during the Stage 4 of the Dakar 2023 around Hail, on January 4th, 2023 in Hail, Saudi Arabia –

Daniel Sanders remains the overall motorcycle leader after an eighth place finish on Stage 4, 3:33 ahead of American Skyler Howes. While Ricky Brabec withdrew with a neck injury after Stage 3, Howes and sixth place Mason Klein have ensured that two Americans are well within reach of Sanders for the overall lead. Nasser Al-Attiyah remains atop the car class with an 18-minute advantage on Yazeed Al Rajhi and Peterhansel, with extended issues for Carlos Sainz and Loeb earlier in the rally knocking them off the current overall podium.

Seth Quintero’s overall lead in T3 Lightweight Prototype evaporated just as quickly as he finally took it. Consistent stage results gave him a 61-second advantage over Guillaume De Mevius coming in, but extended issues today dropped him an hour and a half off the winning pace. The good news? He’s still fourth overall, and two of the drivers who got past him—stage winner Mitch Guthrie Jr. in first overall, and AJ Jones in third—are his Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team teammates.

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400 BACIUSKA Rokas (lto), VIDAL MONTIJANO Oriol (spa), Red Bull Can-Am Factory Racing, Can-Am, SSV, FIA W2RC, Motul, action during the Stage 4 of the Dakar 2023 around Hail, on January 4th, 2023 in Hail, Saudi Arabia

The Goczal family remains dominant when it comes to stage wins in T4 SSV, with Eryk Goczal scoring his second of the rally in Stage 4, but the consistency of Rodrigo Luppi now has him 14 minutes ahead of the youngest Goczal for the overall lead. He’s joined in the top six by his father Marek in fourth and uncle Michal in sixth, while Rokas Baciuska has recovered to third overall after an early 15-minute speeding penalty.

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151 GIROUD Alexandre (fra), Yamaha Racing – SMX – Drag’on, Yamaha, Quad, action during the Stage 2 of the Dakar 2023 between Sea Camp and Al-‘Ula, on January 2nd, 2023 in Al-‘Ula, Saudi Arabia – Photo Frederic Le Floc’h / DPPI

Rounding out the stage winners were Martin Macik in trucks and Alexandre Giroud on quads. Macik’s third stage win in four days has him back up to fourth overall, now within 40 minutes of leader Ales Loprais, while Giroud’s perfect four-for-four event thus far has him 47 minutes ahead of Francisco Moreno Flores.

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508 LOPRAIS Ales (cze), POKORA Petr (cze), VALTR Jr Jaroslav (cze), Instaforex Loprais Praga, Praga, Trucks, action during the Stage 4 of the Dakar 2023 around Hail, on January 4th, 2023 in Hail, Saudi Arabia

2023 Dakar Rally Stage 4 winners were as follows:

  • Bikes: Joan Barreda, 4:28:18
  • Quads: Alexandre Giroud, 5:52:17
  • Cars: Sebastien Loeb, 4:11:34
  • Lightweight Prototype: Mitch Guthrie Jr., 5:01:55
  • SSV: Eryk Goczal, 5:18:41
  • Truck: Martin Macik, 5:10:23

2023 Dakar Rally class leaders are as follows:

  • Bikes: Daniel Sanders, 18:40:03
  • Quads: Alexandre Giroud, 22:49:35
  • Cars: Nasser Al’Attiyah, 16:34:13
  • Lightweight Prototype: Mitch Guthrie Jr., 18:59:47
  • SSV: Rodrigo Luppi, 20:05:55
  • Truck: Ales Loprais, 19:29:21

Coverage of today’s Dakar Rally action will debut on Peacock at 6:30PM ET. Tomorrow’s Stage 5 is the second Ha’il loop stage in a two-day span, this one covering 373 kilometers and featuring plenty of dunes.

Chris Leone

A veteran of the motorsports industry (both physical and digital), Chris Leone contributes coverage of race events of all types to Off-Road Racer. Elsewhere, he is the marketing/communications manager at iRacing, media director of Jim Beaver's Down & Dirty Show, and a frequent contributor to UTV Underground.

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