Loeb sets Dakar record with sixth consecutive stage win

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Sébastien Loeb broke the Dakar Rally record on Saturday with six straight stage wins, while reigning champion Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar came close to winning his fifth title in the car category.

Frenchman Loeb, a nine-time world rally champion, took his seventh stage win of the 2023 edition to secure second overall in Saudi Arabia, with Sunday’s final stage to Dammam on the Persian Gulf coast.

“It’s fantastic, although the record wasn’t necessarily my goal. Above all I wanted to consolidate my second place,” said the Bahrain Raid Xtreme rider after the short stage 13 of 154 kilometers over the dunes of Shaybah to Al-Hofuf.

Loeb had on Friday equalled the record of five consecutive stage wins from Finland’s Ari Vatanen in 1989 and had become the first rider since Spain’s Carlos Sainz in 2011 to win seven stages at a Dakar.

Al-Attiyah, from Toyota, remained comfortably at the front of the competition with a cushion of one hour and 21 minutes. The Qatari was the second fastest of the stage, five minutes and 28 seconds behind Loeb.

Brazilian rookie Lucas Moraes remained third overall for Overdrive Racing.

In the motorcycle category, Australian Toby Price, a two-time Dakar winner, led the standings 12 seconds ahead of his KTM teammate and stage winner, Argentine Kevin Benavides, winner of the 2021 edition.

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