Dakar Rally Stage 3: Lucas Moreas puts in late charge for maiden stage win

Toyota’s Lucas Moreas took his maiden stage win on Monday. Picture: Flavien Duhamel / Red Bull Content Pool.

Toyota’s Lucas Moreas took his maiden stage win on Monday. Picture: Flavien Duhamel / Red Bull Content Pool.

Published Jan 8, 2024


By: Double Apex

The second stage of the 2024 Dakar Rally saw many top names return to the fore. 2024 Dakar stage 3 was a 438 km timed special from Al Duwadimi to Al Salamiya. Terrain over the course of the day varied from rough tracks to large dunes. The teams were only allowed two hours of service time before the race machines were refueled and entered a par ferme scenario. This means that no work is allowed on the vehicles overnight.

Stephane Peterhansel (Audi) made history on stage two by taking his 50th ever stage win. He holds this record jointly with rally and Dakar legend Ari Vatanen. Learn a little more about Finnish driver at this link. It was Peterhansel who set off first on Monday, opening the road for his rivals behind.

Many crews have switched over to campaign a Toyota Hilux. The SA-built machine has been the class of the field, winning recent editions of this race. The bakkies have consistently filled up the top slots at this event as well. About a quarter way through 2024 Dakar stage 3 Toyota-mounted crews occupied the top three spots on the timesheets.

Peterhansel seemed to lose time early in the day, dropping down the order. Drivers had to balance speed with aggression due to the limited service time available. But that did not stop stage one winner Guillaume de Mevius (Overdrive Toyota), his teammate Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Toyota) and Sebastien Loeb (BRX) from pouncing on the opportunity to make up time.

The trio of Audi drivers could not be discounted as Ekstrom and Sainz stayed in contention throughout the stage. Defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyah (BRX) was on a mission, charging through the stage in an effort to claw back time he lost on the opening stage.

Unfortunately De Mevius ground to a halt after 268km and lost more than quarter of an hour before resuming racing. After 404km, the last time check before the finishing line, Loeb also lost a chunk of time to the stage leaders as he trailed the quickest guys by over 22 minutes.

At the Flag

Lucas Moreas (Toyota) put in a late charge to take his maiden stage win by a mere nine seconds. He held off Ekstrom and local lad Al-Rajhi.

Al-Attiyah finished the stage on three wheels after suffering three punctures. He was fourth ahead of Dumas. Sainz was sixth ahead of Matthieu Serradori and Peterhansel. Giniel de Villiers was the top finishing South African in 16th place. His teammates Saood Variawa and Guy Botterill were 21st and 32nd respectively.

New Leader

Yazeed Al-Rajhi has now taken over the overall lead of the race thanks to his impressive pace today.

He has relegated Sainz to second, who is ahead of his teammate Ekstrom. Moraes jumps up to fourth and Al-Attiyah climbs to fifth. De Villiers is the highest placed South African in 14th place.

Overall Standings after 2024 Dakar Stage 3

  • Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Overdrive Toyota) 13 hr 07 min 29 sec
  • Carlos Sainz (Audi) +29 sec
  • Mattias Ekstrom (Audi) +8 min 26 sec
  • Lucas Moraes (Toyota Gazoo Racing) +9 min 17 sec
  • Nasser Al-Attiyah (BRX) +10 min 49 sec
  • Stephane Peterhansel (Audi) +18 min 05 sec
  • Mathieu Serradori (CRT) +18 min 32 sec
  • Romain Dumas (Rebellion Racing) +19 min 58 sec
  • Sebastien Loeb (BRX) +24 min 58 sec
  • Vaidotas Zala (X-Raid) +26 min 12 sec

* This article originally appeared on Double Apex and is used with their permission.

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