Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah came first in the second phase of the cars T1 category of the ongoing 45th edition of Dakar Rally 2023.
04 January 2023, 12:00 AM
28 February 2023, 12:00 AM
Qatar's rally driver Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah came first in the second phase of the cars T1 category of the ongoing 45th edition of Dakar Rally 2023, in Saudi Arabia.
The defending champion, on board TOYOTA Hilux along with co-driver France's Mathieu Baumel, covered the 430-km Yanbu - Al Ula race in 4.00.26 hours, 14 seconds ahead of second-placed Dutch Erik van Loon.
The Toyota team had tested a new version of their Hilux in Namibia earlier this month and the Qatari driver was happy with the trial.
Speaking in a press statement, Al Attiyah said he was riding high with today's performance, adding that the race was tough, given the many rocky tracks. He made it clear that he will strive to enter tomorrow's stage strongly, and build on what was achieved today.
The 11km-long prologue for the race, which is used to determine the starting orders for the first stage, will get the action under way during the Saturday afternoon, before the race itself kicks off on New Year’s Day 2023. Fourteen competitive stages will follow, with a rest day following Stage 8.
Attiyah’s teammate Giniel de Villiers, from South Africa, has one of the best Dakar records in history, having competed in twenty Dakars to date. He won the race in 2009, and has been on the podium seven additional times. He has only finished outside the Top 10 once in twenty races, and will be aiming for another solid result, again with co-driver Dennis Murphy, also from South Africa, beside him.
Dakar 2023 promises to be one of the toughest yet, consisting of 14 stages rather than the dozen that has become the norm over the last few editions of the race.
The race kicked off Dec. 31 and runs through Jan. 15 in Saudi Arabia, for the fourth year in a row, with the participation of 820 drivers and navigators, representing 68 different countries.