Rallye du Maroc – Yazeed Al-Rajhi, one day away from signing a first

The gentleman driver could become the first Saudi driver to win the prestigious event on Wednesday. Two punctures, however, reminded him of the unforeseen events of the rally raid on this 4th stage.

Published on 17/10/2023 à 19:40

Medhi Casaurang

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Rallye du Maroc – Yazeed Al-Rajhi, one day away from signing a first

Al-Rajhi's Toyota Hilux T1+ is the same as Al-Attiyah's 4x4. Photo DPPI / Julien Delfosse

It's the surprise that we didn't really expect. Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk (Toyota) took command of the Rally of Morocco on the eve of the final arrival in Merzouga, this Tuesday, October 17.

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The Saudi and his German navigator took advantage of the mechanical problems of Nasser Al-Attiyah-Mathieu Baumel (Toyota) as well as the accident of Sébastien Loeb-Fabian Lurquin (BRX) in the second half of the stage to take the lead. Third in the Dakar in 2022 on home soil, Yazeed Al-Rajhi has a lead of almost 4 minutes over his pursuer, Stéphane Peterhansel (Audi).

The winner of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge last February was not spared from mechanical problems, particularly with his tires. “The stage was very difficult to negotiate. Timo and I did a good job, even though we suffered two punctures.

 

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A post shared by Timo Gottschalk (@timo_gottschalk_)

The first (intervened) at km 100. It was my fault, I came out of a river in the wrong direction. I was looking at my dashboard to check the condition of the wheels, and I didn't pay attention to a large rock right in the path. Afterwards, I slowed down. » That didn't stop him from flattening a second tire! « Then I started to get worried. I slowed down again, as I no longer had a spare tire in case of a third puncture. »

On Wednesday, Yazeed Al-Rajhi has the opportunity to become the first Saudi driver to register his name on the list of winners of the Morocco Rally, the flagship rally-raid event after the Dakar. « Lthe step will be shorter (152 km), so we are not far from victory. I will still wait for Peterhansel to come by to be sure! He's not very far in the general ranking, but I won't give up. »

Medhi Casaurang

Passionate about the history of motorsport across all disciplines, I learned to read thanks to AUTOhebdo. At least that's what my parents tell everyone when they see my name inside!

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