Dakar Rally 2022, Day 2: Sebastien Loeb wins as Al-Attiyah keeps lead; Jones first in SSV

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Seeking his first Dakar Rally victory, Sebastien Loeb won on Day 2 while an American won a stage for the second consecutive day in the 2022 event.

Loeb, a nine-time World Rally champion, covered the 339-kilometer segment around Al-Artawiyah, Saudi Arabia, in three hours and 25 minutes and moved within 10 minutes of overall leader Nasser Al-Attiyah, who finished second in Stage 2. Lucio Alvarez was third overall.

“It was a real tussle between Nasser and myself today,” Loeb said after his 15th Dakar stage win and first for the Bahrain Raid Extreme team. “He was opening the road and was really pushing for all 340km. By the end of the stage I had caught him.”

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Said Al-Attiyah: “We were able to go fast today and we always enjoy that. I think this will be an extremely fast Dakar all the way to the end. The performance of our T1+ is really fantastic.”

After a rough start, three-time Dakar Rally champion Carlos Sainz rebounded by finishing third in his Audi (5 minutes, 52 seconds behind Loeb). The Spaniard moved into the top 30 but still is more than two hours off Al-Attiyah’s overall lead after getting lost on the opening day.

In the SSV class, Austin Jones moved into the overall lead by 2 minutes, 28 seconds after a victory in Stage 2. Fellow American Seth Quintero suffered mechanical problems and fell from the top three in lightweight prototype after winning Stage 1.

In the bikes, Sam Sunderland moved into the overall lead as Joan Barreda Bort won on Day 2. American Skyler Howes trails by just under 10 minutes in fifth after a fourth place in Stage 2 (missing the podium by 22 seconds).

Here are the top three in each category after Day 2:

Car

Stage 2 winner: Sebastien Loeb (FRA), 3:25:00. Overall: 1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT), Toyota Gazoo Racing, 6:59:21; 2. Loeb, Bahrain Raid Extreme, 7:08:37; 3. Lucio Alvarez (ARG), Overdrive Toyota, 7:40:14.

Bike

Stage 2 winner: Joan Barreda Bort (ESP), 3:31:20. Overall: 1. Sam Sunderland (GBR), GasGas Factory Racing, 8:31:29; 2. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, 8:34:20; 3. Daniel Sanders (AUS), GasGas Factory Racing, 8:34:58. Other U.S. notables: 5. Skyler Howes, Husqvarna Factory Racing, 8:41:28; 14. Mason Klein, BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team, 9:03:55; 16. Andrew Short, Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, 9:07:28; 22. Ricky Brabec, Monster Energy Honda, 9:25:20.

Truck

Stage 2 winner: Andrey Karginov (RAF), 3:52:07. Overall: 1. Dmitry Sotnikov (RAF), Kamaz-Master 7:59:07; 2. Eduard Nikolaev (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 8:01:14; 3. Andrey Karginov (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 8:17:41.

Light prototype

Stage 2 winner: Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHL) 4:06:42. Overall: 1. Contardo, EKS — South Racing, 8:30:15; 2. Sebastian Eriksson (SWE), EKS — South Racing, 8:37:37; 3. Pavel Lebedev (RAF) MSK Rally Team, 8:54:03.

SSV

Stage 2 winner: Austin Jones (USA), 4:11:55. Overall: 1. Jones, Can-Am Factory South Racing, 8:51:19; 2. Rodrigo Luppi De Oliveira (BRA), South Racing Can-Am, 8:53:47; Michal Goczal (POL) 8:57:58.

Quad

Stage 2 winner: Manuel Andjuar (ARG) 4:27:51. Overall: 1. Laisvydas Kancius (LTU), Story Racing S.R.O., 10:51:36; 2. Pablo Copetti (USA), Del Amo Motorsports/Yamaha Rally Team, 10:58:08; 3. Alexandre Giroud (FRA), Yamaha Racing – SMX -Drag’on, 11:11:33.

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,
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SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.