Navigation challenges come thick and fast on Stage 10 at 2020 Dakar Rally
January 15, 2020
Shubaytah, Saudi Arabia
The 2020 Dakar Rally once again proved itself the toughest motorsports race out there on day 10 as it waved competitors off for a two-part marathon stage. The first leg of the marathon took place between Haradh and Shubayta, taking the convoy over the perilous dunes of Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter.
Things had started to get a little uncomfortable for car race leader Carlos Sainz (ESP) during the Dakar’s second week. His lead of 10 minutes had been cut to just 24 seconds. However, on Stage 10 the Spaniard was once again able to increase his advantage at the front of the race.
“One waypoint was difficult but somehow we managed to get it. Everything worked fine for us.” – Carlos Sainz
Sainz’s lead now stands at over 18 minutes with Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) still lodged in second overall. After Al-Attiyah comes Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA), just 16 seconds behind the reigning champion in third overall. Al-Attiyah and Peterhansel are both left to ponder if today’s navigation mistakes have cost them the win at the first Dakar held in the Middle East.
“We took a wrong turn which gave us 20 kilometres extra to drive. We lost 19 minutes on Carlos (Sainz) but this is how it goes. We still have a long day tomorrow and everything is still possible.” – Nasser Al-Attiyah
“There were a lot of drops and it was hard to understand which dunes are sharp and which are rounded. We did a good job, kept a strong rhythm and we’re happy to finish this stage.” – Kuba Przygonski
Racing on Stage 10 was halted at the 345-kilometre mark as a safety precaution due to extremely high winds on the track. As a consequence there were no major gains in the bike race, with leader Ricky Brabec (USA) protecting a lead of 25 minutes with two stages remaining.
Red Bull KTM Factory Team trio Toby Price (AUS), Matthias Walkner (AUT) and Luciano Benavides (ARG) will look to make a late charge for the lead on Stage 11, the second part of the marathon stage. Price, Walkner and Benavides are fourth, sixth and seventh respectively in the general classification.
“It was really fast in the broken dunes at the beginning. Then we came to a section that was tough navigation, very tricky. Many people got lost here, but I managed to do well.” – Luciano Benavides
Top placed female Laia Sanz (ESP) stays 17th overall at the midway point of the marathon stage.
“I’m happy to be here safe and I’m looking forward to getting to the finish line.” – Laia Sanz
The side-by-side stage was once again dominated by Red Bull Off-Road Team USA as they picked up a second consecutive 1-2 result. This time it was Mitch Guthrie Jr. (USA) winning the stage, the third of his debut Dakar.
“We went 1-2 again so it’s another successful day. It’s marathon stage so tonight we’ll be prepping the cars for tomorrow.” – Mitch Guthrie Jr.
Blade Hildebrand (USA) followed home his team-mate Guthrie Jr. in second as the pair continue to get the most out of racing in the Dakar Experience class. In the SxS general classification it looks as though a Stage 10 wheel change has cost defending champion Chaleco Lopez (CHI) the chance of collecting back-to-back titles.
Stage 10 even delivered drama in the quad race where Ignacio Casale (CHI) saw his lead cut by nearly half an hour. Two-time Dakar champion Casale’s advantage now stands at just over 16 minutes, with Simon Vitse (FRA) on a mission to chase him down.
“It was a stage to forget. After 200 kilometres, I got lost for around 40 minutes. I made a mistake that I shouldn’t have made. It’s very serious because it could have cost me victory on the rally.” – Ignacio Casale
Things were a lot more straightforward for Team Kamaz Master as they look to win the first Dakar truck race hosted in Saudi Arabia. All four Kamaz race trucks placed in the Top 5 on Stage 10 and Andrey Karginov (RUS) still looks very well placed to pick up his second Dakar title. Karginov’s team-mate Anton Shibalov (RUS) is second overall.
“It was an interesting stage with some dangerous parts where the dunes dropped sharply. With the weather conditions how they were the race organisers decided it was not possible to finish the stage.” – Anton Shibalov
The competitors left in the Dakar are on their own tonight in Shubaytah, denied the assistance of their mechanics. They’ll need to fix any problems on their machines themselves before racing 379 kilometres back to Haradh tomorrow on Stage 11.
The 2020 Dakar finishes on Friday, January 17 in Al-Qiddiya. Keep up-to-date with the entire Red Bull Desert Wings convoy on Red Bull Motorsports’ social media: Red Bull Motorsport Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Desert Wings Instagram
2020 Dakar Rally Car Race Top 5 (after Stage 10)
1. Carlos Sainz (ESP)/Lucas Cruz (ESP) MINI Buggy 37h15m37s
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Mathieu Baumel (FRA) Toyota +18m10s
3. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Paulo Fiuza (PRT) MINI Buggy +18m26s
4. Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU)/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) Toyota +40m46s
5. Orlando Terranova (ARG)/Bernardo Graue (ARG) MINI Rally +57m39s
2020 Dakar Rally Bike Race Top 5 (after Stage 10)
1. Ricky Brabec (USA) Honda 34h12m18s
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI) Husqvarna +25m44s
3. Joan Barreda (ESP) Honda +27m09s
4. Toby Price (AUT) KTM +28m33s
5. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHI) Honda +41m31s
2020 Dakar Rally Truck Top 5 (after Stage 10)
1. Andrey Karginov (RUS) Kamaz 40h20m04s
2. Anton Shibalov (RUS) Kamaz +36m08s
3. Siarhei Viazovich (BLR) Maz +01h40m00s
4. Ales Loprais (CZE) Praga +02h21m18s
5. Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS) Kamaz +02h48m10s
2020 Dakar Rally Side-by-side Race Top 3 (after Stage 10)
1. Casey Currie (USA)/Sean Berriman (USA) Can-Am 46h22m15s
2. Sergei Kariakin (RUS)/Anton Vlasiuk (RUS) Can-Am +46m40s
3. Chaleco Lopez/Juan Pablo Latrach Vinagre (CHI) Can-Am +01h14m58s
2020 Dakar Rally Quad Race Top 3 (after Stage 10)
1. Ignacio Casale (CHI) Yamaha 44h41m33s
2. Simon Vitse (FRA) Yamaha +16m18s
3. Rafal Sonik (POL) Yamaha +01h06m16s
Carlos Sainz: “Today was a little bit tricky in the morning. We had a bit of a sandstorm and it was not so easy with reduced visibility. There were some big cuts in the sand where it was easy to drop. The stage went well for us later on. One waypoint was difficult but somehow we managed to get it. Everything worked fine for us.”
Nasser Al-Attiyah: “At one point we got a little bit lost, that was just for two or three minutes. After getting that waypoint we took the wrong way which took us 20 kilometres extra to drive. We lost 19 minutes on Carlos (Sainz) but this is how it goes. We still have a long day tomorrow and everything is still possible.”
Stéphane Peterhansel: “In the end it’s been a good stage for the team. Carlos (Sainz) has opened up a big gap between himself and Nasser Al-Attiyah. For us, we opened the road and got lost just 20 kilometres before the end. Nasser was also with us. When we find the right way, Carlos and Kuba (Przygonski) had caught up with us so we showed them the way.”
Kuba Przygonski: “Stage 10 was not easy because we had some difficult dunes to cross. There were a lot of drops and it was hard to understand which dunes are sharp and which are rounded. We did a good job, kept a strong rhythm and we’re happy to finish this stage.”
Giniel De Villiers: “The stage was tricky from the beginning. Quite dangerous with a lot of drops in the dunes. The problem is that the visibility is very low so we could not always see where the drops were until you arrived on them. It wasn’t a stage for full attack.”
Toby Price: “The stage was cut short due to safety reasons. There were a lot of accidents this morning and there wasn’t enough helicopters around to help us out. It’s all for a good reason for sure but it didn’t help me to get back the time I need.”
Matthias Walkner: “The first part was really, really nice and then there was some tricky points towards the end. The wind was very strong and this brought down the visibility a lot. This made finding waypoints very tough.”
Luciano Benavides: “It was really fast in the broken dunes at the beginning. Then we came to a section that was tough navigation, very tricky. Many people got lost here, but I managed to do well. Then the stage was cancelled for safety reasons.”
Laia Sanz: “I took it quite easy today. The second week has been really dangerous. These stages have not tested our technical skills, it’s just about holding the throttle full gas. I’m happy to be here safe and I’m looking forward to getting to the finish line.”
Mitch Guthrie Jr.: “I’ve ended up with the stage win which is really awesome. Blade’s right behind me so we went 1-2 again. It’s another successful day. It’s marathon stage so tonight we’ll be prepping the cars for tomorrow.”
Ignacio Casale: “It was a stage to forget. After 200 kilometres, I got lost for around 40 minutes. I made a mistake that I shouldn’t have made. It’s very serious because it could have cost me victory on the rally. The Dakar can surprise you at any moment, which means you have to remain focused all the time. I’m still first in the general standings with a lead of 16 minutes, so it’s still good for me, but I have to make sure I do a good stage tomorrow.”
Anton Shibalov: “Good day today without problems. We were very fast because the dunes were not so difficult. It was an interesting stage with some dangerous parts where the dunes dropped sharply. With the weather conditions how they were the race organisers decided it was not possible to finish the stage.”