Dakar Stage 7: Al-Attiyah stays in front, Toyotas still 1-2-3-4

Overdrive Racing’s Yazeed Al Rajhi took his first Dakar Rally stage win of the 2023 edition, beating Vaidotas Zala’s privateer Hunter T1+ by nearly nine minutes in the car category.

Stage 7 was cancelled for the Bikes and Quads competitors after flooding at a camp forced a change to the route.

After breaking a wheel hub on stage six, Saudi driver Al Rajhi arguably had the best road conditions for the 333km test which took crews from the revised overnight base of Riyadh to the original location for Friday’s bivouac, Al Duwadimi.

Zala produced a strong final section of the stage to finish second, ahead of another Hunter T1+ of GCK Motorsport’s Guerlain Chicherit.

Rally leader Nasser Al-Attiyah still holds a healthy margin in the overall classification, having only dropped around six minutes to Toyota Gazoo Racing team-mate Henk Lategan, but playing is safe, only managed 10th on the stage.

In the overall standings, Al-Attiyah’s lead has been shaved marginally by Lategan after stage seven, but the defending winner – alongside navigator Mathieu Baumel – still heads his team-mate by more than an hour.

Overdrive Racing’s Lucas Moraes continues his excellent Dakar debut with third overall, some way ahead of De Villiers, while Loeb moves back into the top five after Ekström’s mechanical strife.

AL-ATTIYAH Nasser (qat), Toyota Gazoo Racing, Toyota Hilux, Auto, FIA W2RC – Photo Julien Delfosse / DPPI

Car Overall Standings after Stage 7:

Pos Driver Car Time/Behind
1 Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota 27hr26m23s
2 Henk Lategan Toyota +1hr01m04s
3 Lucas Moraes Toyota +1hr11m24s
4 Giniel de Villiers Toyota +1hr36m47s
5 Sebastien Loeb Prodrive +1hr54m17s
6 Romain Dumas Rebellion +2hr12m30s
7 Brian Baragwanath Century +2hr14m40s
8 Martin Prokop Benzina +2hr17m26s
9 Wei Han SMG +2hr51m38s
10 Lionel Baud Toyota +3hr17m59s

Bike Standings after Cancelled Stage 7

Pos Rider Bike Time/Behind
1 Skyler Howes (USA) Hus 26h31m52s
2 Toby Price KTM +03m31s
3 Kevin Benavides KTM +07m01s
4 Joan Barreda Hon +10m57s
5 Adrien Van Beveren Hon +12m20s
7 Mason Klein (USA) KTM +12m46s
25 Jacob Argubright (USA) KTM +03h20m39s
46 Pablo Copetti (USA) Yam +07h50m45s
73 Petr Vlcek (USA) KTM +09h52m20s
92 James Pearson (USA) KTM +23h01m40s
95 Morrison Hart (USA) KTM +23h58m53s
101 David Pearson (USA) KTM +53h01m16s
103 Lawrence Ace Nilson (USA) KTM +53h32m01s
109 Kyle McCoy (USA) KTM +94h43m08s
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