Dakar Rally 2023, Stage 6: Peterhansel, Sainz crash on a devastating day for Team Audi


A Dakar Rally legend was eliminated during a crash-marred Friday that effectively knocked out Team Audi in Stage 6 of the 2023 event.

Stephane Peterhansel, the 14-time champion who had been running second though five stages, crashed at the 200-kilometer mark and had to abandon his No. 204 RS Q e-tron E2. The Frenchman was OK, but his co-driver Edouard Boulanger was transported to a local hospital for further examination after the Dakar Rally medical team found him suffering from back pain.

In a devastating turn of events for the Audis, teammate Carlos Sainz closely was following Peterhansel and wrecked in the same spot. The Spaniard lost massive time trying to repair the car and is out of contention for his fourth Dakar Rally championship.

Peterhansel said he briefly was knocked out after the crash.

Stephane Peterhansel speaks with Dakar Rally medical staff after a crash during Stage 6 (Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images).

“I have no memory of having jumped the dune,” he said. “I have no memory of switching off the car. When I came around, Edouard was not in the car. He was lying in front of it. There you go, it’s the danger of off-piste. We fell into that trap. We had a fast pace because we were catching cars in the dunes. Feeling really good. We wanted to make up some time on (leader) Nasser (Al-Attiyah) but too fast.”

Said Sainz: “Stephane caught up with us right before the checkpoint. I was right behind him following close. The next thing I saw was his car flying and then me flying after him and landing. We’ve broken the suspension, and Edouard has damaged his back.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if Sainz would be able to continue, but the three-time champion assuredly has no shot at the overall.

Audi’s last remaining hope is Mattias Ekstrom, who was in fifth overall (1:46:55 behind Al-Attiyah) after a sixth in Stage 6.

The crashes marked the latest twists in an eventful Dakar Rally for Audi, which rolled out its new electric hybrid in last year’s event.

After struggling in its 2022 debut, the RS Q e-tron E2 seemed to have turned the corner this year after dominating the prologue and winning two of the first five stages. Audis also were granted an unusual power advantage by an FIA rule change after Stage 4.

That advantage angered defending car champion Nasser Al-Attiyah, who sarcastically thanked the FIA for “killing the race.”

But now it seems the race indeed could be over — in Al-Attiyah’s favor.

Team Audi drivers Stephane Peterhansel and Carlos Sainz commiserate after crashing during Stage 6 (Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images).

Benefiting from the Audis’ misfortune, the Toyota Gazoo Racing driver won his second consecutive stage Friday and widened his overall lead to more than an hour with eight stages remaining.

Before the shunt that knocked him out of his 35th Dakar Rally, Peterhansel had been in second overall, trailing Al-Attiyah by 22 minutes, 36 seconds.

The biggest threat now to Al-Attiyah winning a fifth Dakar title is rally legend Sebastien Loeb, who finished second in Stage 6 but still is nearly two hours behind the over leader after an earlier crash.

“It was a very tough stage, not easy,” Al-Attiyah said after winning Friday by 3 minutes, 29 seconds. “We really pushed a lot, but for the last 40 kilometers, we broke the steering pump, so we didn’t have any steering. We had a lot of oil coming out, but we’ll try to repair it now and then we’ll go to Riyadh.”

Loeb, whose car also benefited from the 11-horsepower gain by the FIA rule change, is ranked sixth overall for Bahrain Raid Xtreme.

“It was a clean stage for us,” Loeb said. “We lost a little bit of time on some waypoints, but not too much, just like 2 or 3 minutes. When you see what happened on the stage, I think in the end that we did a good stage with second time overall. It was better than the previous ones and I think we’ve made a good step in the general rankings, so that’s not too bad.

“We suffered a lot thse last few days with different problems every day. Things seem to be turning. Others suffered today. We managed a good leap in the overall, so it’s pretty good.”

In the bikes category, Skyler Howes increased his overall lead with a second place in Stage 6, 56 seconds behind winner (and Husqvarna Facory Racing teammate) Luciano Benavides. The St. George, Utah, native leads two-time Dakar champion Toby Price by 3 minutes, 31 seconds overall.

“The only thing on my mind today was to go as fast as possible,” Howes said. ” As soon as we hit the dunes, we were going in a super good direction, so you can kind of jump them. It was a really fun stage and the dunes were wet still, so you got a lot of traction through them. They were really consistent too. A lot of the times you could jump them. I got caught out a couple of times and jumped into some pretty big compressions, so that slowed me down a bit

“It was a really fun special with a lot of dunes, but they were really nice to ride and the tracks in between were really fun. The wetter sand helps get more traction, but it is more difficult when you have lots of lines in front of you because they leave deep ruts so it’s very easy to get crossed up. You more or less have to choose your own line and things like this. Otherwise, it’s nice to have wet dirt. There will be a lot of time on the seat on the two next days and on link routes to get to the next bivouacs. But I’ll be using the same mentality as always, just doing the best I can every single day,”

Mason Klein fell to seventh overall after the American finished 12th in the stage.

“It was a really difficult day for me,” said Klein, a 21-year-old making his second Dakar Rally start. “It was cold, and I struggled in the dunes. I fell twice. It’s the first time I’ve fallen since the start of the rally. It hurt bad. This special was horrible. From now on, I’m going to try and do my best taking it as easy as possible.”

After Stage 6 had ended, the Dakar Rally announced the cancellation of the Stage 7 special for bikes because of worsening weather and tired riders. While bikes and quads will head directly to Al Duwadimi on the road section Saturday, cars and trucks will contest Stage 7 as scheduled.

In T3 light prototype, Guillaume De Mevius won Stage 6 to extend his lead over American podium finishers Austin “A.J.” Jones (second) and Seth Quintero (third).

“It was fun; we just followed Guillaume after we got passed,” Jones said. “Not too eventful. Some really rough dunes, smashing our head around. We’re here, and the car is all good.”

Quintero tried to make a charge in the final 50 kilometers but “a pretty big mistake” on navigation cost time.

“Completely my fault,” the Southern California native said. “I ended up on a plateau and was trying to get down to a valley. Bummer deal there. Had to go back to a waypoint and had a puncture with 6 to 7 kilometers to go. I don’t think today was our day but we’re still in the rally and got a smile on my face and go after it tomorrow.”

Mitch Guthrie rebounded for a fifth after a disastrous fifth stage for the Red Bull Off Road Junior Team driver. The American is ranked 31st overall in T3.

“Good day; we did all right after the issues yesterday,” Guthrie said. “Just to get back in the groove of things. I’m happy to get back to the finish line today.”

NBC Sports’ daily 6:30 p.m. ET coverage of the 2023 Dakar Rally will continue tonight on Peacock’s NBC Sports channel.

NEXT: Stage 7 of the  2023 Dakar Rally originally was scheduled as a 641-kilometer loop stage around Al Duwadimi, traveling across undulating terrain and sandy plateaus. But Stages 7 and 8 were rearranged by race organizers because the bivouac location was impacted by rain. According to Dakar Rally website, the stage will start in Riyadh, and the special will be 333 kilometers. An assistance zone will be at the finish (via a 94-kilometer link), for a maximum time slot of two hours. The teams then will return to Al Duwadimi. The loop stage then will take place in Stage 8, racing against the clock for 345 kilometers before teams head to the bivouac in Riyadh.

Here are the stage winners and the top three in the overall rankings for each category (along with U.S. notables) after Stage 6 of the 2023 Dakar Rally (WILL BE UPDATED):


Stage 6 winner: Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT), Toyota Gazoo Racing, 3:13:12.

General rankings: 1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT), Toyota Gazoo Racing, 24:00:48; 2. Henk Lategan (ZAF), Toyota Gazoo Racing, 25:07:38; 3. Lucas Moraes (BRA), Overdrive Racing, 25:14:07.


Stage 6 winner: Luciano Benavides (ARG) 3:14:19

General rankings: 1. Skyler Howes (USA), Husqvarna Factory Racing, 26:31:52; 2. Toby Price (AUS), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 26:35:23; 3. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 26:38:53. U.S. notables: 7. Mason Klein (USA), BAS world KTM Racing Team, 26:44:38; 25. Jacob Argubright, Duust Co Rally Team, 29:52:31; 46. Pablo Copetti, Del Amo Motorsports, 34:22:37; 61. Petr Vlcek, Detyens Racing, 36:24:12; 92. James Pearson, American Rally Originals, 49:33:32; 95. Morrison Hart, American Rally Originals, 50:30:45; 101. David Pearson, American Rally Originals, 79:33:08; 103. Lawrence Ace Nilson, Duust Rally Team, 84:03:53; 109. Kyle McCoy, American Rally Originals, 121:15:00. Awaiting classification: Paul Neff, American Rally Originals;  Withdrew: Ricky Brabec (USA), Monster Energy Honda, 9:42:49.


Stage 6 winner: Manuel Andjuar (ARG), 7240 Team, 4:08:25

General rankings: 1. Alexandre Giroud (FRA), Yamaha Racing, 32:58:54; 2. Francisco Moreno Flores (ARG), Dragon, 33:41:51; 3. Pablo Copetti (USA), Del Amo Motorsports, 34:32:37.

T3 light prototype

Stage 6 winner: Guillaume De Mevius (BEL), Grally Team, 3:39:43.

General rankings: 1. Guillaume De Mevius (BEL), Grally Team, 27:55:22. 2. Austin “A.J.” Jones (USA), Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team, 28:04:219. 3. Seth Quintero (USA), Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team, 29:03:37. U.S. notable: Mitch Guthrie, Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team, 52:44:57.


Stage 6 winner: Marek Goczal (POL), Energylandia Rally Team, 3:43:18.

General rankings: 1. Rodrigo Luppi De Oliveira (BRA), South Racing Can-Am, 29:02:55; 2. Rokas Baciuska (LTU), Red Bull Can-Am Factory Team, 29:23:12; 3. Marek Goczal (POL), Energylandia Rally Team, 29:25:27.


Stage 6 winner: Mitchel Van Den Brink (NLD), Eurol Team De Rooy Iveco, 3:46:58.

1. Martin Van Den Brink (NLD), Eurol Team De Rooy Iveco, 28:43:27; 2. Ales Loprais (CZE), Instaforex Loprais Praga, 28:44:04; 3. Janus Van Kastren (NLD), Boss Machinery Team De Rooy Iveco, 29:09:57.


PROLOGUE: Mattias Ekstrom leads Audi charge

STAGE 1: Ricky Brabec opens with victory; Carlos Sainz keeps Audi on top

STAGE 2: Mason Klein continues U.S. surge in bikes

STAGE 3: Brabec is eliminated by crash as inclement weather shortens stage

STAGE 4: Klein, Skyler Howes overcome adversity

STAGE 5: Skyler Howes moves into overall lead in bikes

AUDI CONTROVERSY: Electric hybrids given power boost

CARRYING THE FLAGU.S. drivers and riders in the 2023 Dakar Rally

IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix: How to watch, start times, TV, schedules, streaming

IndyCar Detroit start times
Ryan Garza/USA TODAY Sports Images Network

The NTT IndyCar Series will return to the Motor City for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix but with start times in a new location for 2023.

After a 30-year run on Belle Isle, the Detroit GP has moved a few miles south to the streets of downtown on a new nine-turn, 1.7-mile circuit that runs along the Detroit River.

It’s the first time single-seater open-cockpit cars have raced on the streets of Detroit since a CART event on a 2.5-mile downtown layout from 1989-91. Formula One also raced in Detroit from 1982-88.

The reimagined Detroit Grand Prix also will play host to nightly concerts and bring in venders from across the region. Roger Penske predicts the new downtown locale will be bigger for Detroit than when the city played host to the 2006 Super Bowl.

Here are the details and IndyCar start times for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach race weekend (all times are ET):


TV: Sunday, 3 p.m. ET on NBC and streaming on Peacock, the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com. Leigh Diffey is the announcer with analysts Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe. Dave Burns, Marty Snider and Kevin Lee are the pit reporters. Click here for the full NBC Sports schedule for IndyCar in 2023.

Peacock also will be the streaming broadcast for both practices and qualifying.

POSTRACE SHOW ON PEACOCK: After the race’s conclusion, an exclusive postrace show will air on Peacock with driver interviews, postrace analysis and the podium presentation. To watch the extended postrace show, click over to the special stream on Peacock after Sunday’s race ends.


GREEN FLAG: 3:30 p.m. ET

PRACTICE: Friday, 3 p.m. (Peacock Premium); Saturday, 9:05 a.m. (Peacock Premium); Sunday, 10 a.m. (Peacock Premium)

QUALIFYING: Saturday, 1:20 p.m. (Peacock Premium)

RACE DISTANCE: The race is 100 laps (170 miles) on a nine-turn, 1.7-mile temporary street course in downtown Detroit.

TIRE ALLOTMENT: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate. Rookie drivers are allowed one extra primary set for the first practice.

PUSH TO PASS: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation (Indy NXT: 150 seconds total, 15 seconds per). The push-to-pass is not available on the initial start or any restart unless it occurs in the final two laps or three minutes of a timed race. The feature increases the power of the engine by approximately 60 horsepower.

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 80 degrees with a 0% chance of rain.

ENTRY LIST: Click here to view the 27 drivers racing Sunday at Detroit

INDY NXT RACES: Saturday, 12:05 p.m. 45 laps/55 minutes (Peacock Premium); Sunday, 12:50 p.m. 45 laps/55 minutes (Peacock Premium)

INDY NXT ENTRY LISTClick here to view the 19 drivers racing at Detroit


(All times are Eastern)

Friday, June 2

8:30-9:30 a.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

9:50-10:20 a.m.: Trans Am Series practice

11:40 a.m.-12:40 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

1-1:30 p.m.: Trans Am Series practice

1:50-2:40 p.m.: Indy NXT practice

3-4:30 p.m.: IndyCar practice, Peacock

4:50-5:05 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge qualifying

5:30-6 p.m.: IndyNXT qualifying (Race 1 and 2)

6-7:15 p.m.: A-Track concert (Hart Plaza Stage)

7:30-8:30 p.m.: Big Boi concert (Hart Plaza Stage)

Saturday, June 3

8:15-8:45 a.m.: Trans Am Series qualifying

9:05-10:05 a.m.: IndyCar practice, Peacock

10:35-11:35 a.m.: Trans Am Series, 3-Dimensional Services Group Muscle Car Challenge

12:05-1:00 p.m.: Indy NXT, Race 1 (45 laps or 55 minutes), Peacock

1:15-2:45 p.m.: IndyCar qualifying, Peacock

4:10-5:50 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Chevrolet Detroit Sports Car Classic (100 minutes), Peacock

5:30-7 p.m.: Z-Trip concert (Hart Plaza Stage)

7-8:30 p.m.: Steve Aoki concert (Hart Plaza Stage)

Sunday, June 4

10:00-10:30 a.m.: IndyCar warmup, Peacock

11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Trans Am Series, 3-Dimensional Services Group Motor City Showdown

12:50-1:45 p.m.: Indy NXT, Race 2 (45 laps or 55 minutes), Peacock

2:47 p.m.: IndyCar driver introductions

3:23 p.m.: Command to start engines

3:30 p.m.: Green flag for the Chevrolet Detroit Prix, presented by Lear (100 laps/170 miles), NBC


ROUND 1Marcus Ericsson wins wild opener in St. Petersburg

ROUND 2Josef Newgarden wins Texas thriller over Pato O’Ward

ROUND 3: Kyle Kirkwood breaks through for first career IndyCar victory

ROUND 4: Scott McLaughlin outduels Romain Grosjean at Barber

ROUND 5: Alex Palou dominant in GMR Grand Prix

ROUND 6: Josef Newgarden wins first Indy 500 in 12th attempt 


Inside Team Penske’s bid win another Indy 500 for “The Captain”

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Roger Penske feeling hale at another Indy 500 as Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner

Honda needed 45 seconds to approve Graham Rahal racing a Chevy at Indy

A.J. Foyt takes refuge at Indy 500 while weathering grief of wife’s death

Gordon Johncock: The most unassuming Indy 500 legend

Alex Palou on his Indy 500 pole, multitasking at 224 mph and a Chip Ganassi surprise

Marcus Ericsson, engineer Brad Goldberg have ties that run very deep

New competition elements for 2023 include an alternate oval tire

Indy 500 will be Tony Kanaan’s final race

IndyCar drivers say Thermal Club could host a race

IndyCar team owners weigh in on marketing plans, double points

Alexander Rossi fitting in well at McLaren

Phoenix takes flight: Romain Grosjean enjoying the pilot’s life

Helio Castroneves says 2023 season is “huge” for IndyCar future

How Sting Ray Robb got that name

Kyle Larson having impact on future McLaren teammates

Simon Pagenaud on why he likes teasing former teammate Josef Newgarden

HOW TO WATCH INDYCAR IN 2023Full NBC Sports schedule