Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Unexpected Audi debacle

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Dakar Rally 2023: heroes and unlucky ones

Unexpected Audi debacle

Audi started as the favorite for the Dakar Rally with three electric cars. But the two-week racing marathon in Saudi Arabia ended in disappointment for the Audi factory team. Toyota won again in 2023.

Published: 5:37 am


Updated: 59 minutes ago


The Dakar participants covered 8,500 kilometers from January 1st to 16th in Saudi Arabia. We went through tire-killing stone deserts and over towering sand dunes.

Wolfgang Hörner and Raoul Schinnen

16 days and 8,500 kilometers at racing speed through tire-killing stone deserts and over towering sand dunes – that was the 2023 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. The participants were often left to their own devices. Because unlike the years before, there were more stages without service options this year. This means that the drivers and co-drivers had to repair any damage themselves overnight.

Of course, such an adventure writes heroic stories. For example, about Nasser Al-Attiyah (52) and his navigator Mathieu Baumel (46). After 2022, the two won the cross-country rally again this year with their works Toyota GR Hilux. The third stage, which was completely rain-drenched, brought them to the top of the rankings early on – and they stayed there until the last day. The driver from Qatar and his French co-driver benefited from the bad luck of the competition. But they also knew how to skilfully manage their large lead. This is already the fifth Dakar victory for Al-Attiyah.

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