Loeb finished second, winning the next day

(Motorsport-Total.com) – With his fifth consecutive stage win, Sebastien Loeb (Prodrive Hunter) takes second overall from Lucas Moraes / Timo Gottschalk (Toyota). Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota) is also having a smooth day on Friday on his way to overall victory in the 2023 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.

Sebastien Loeb

Unstoppable Sebastien Loeb – Fifth consecutive stage win!

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The twelfth stage was the second part of the marathon stage. We headed north through the sandy desert “Empty Quarter” to Shaybah. The classified private vehicle covered 185 kilometers. Loeb was first at the starting line at 08:45 local time.

As in the past few days, this was not a disadvantage for the record world champion. Loeb accelerated and attacked from the start. After 42 kilometres, he’s already pulled himself up on Moraes/Gottschalk in three seconds.

Al-Attiyah continued his defensive tactics and managed to move up the rankings. After 42 kilometers he had already lost a minute to Loeb. There were problems for Henk Lategan (Toyota), who was in the desert for more than 25 minutes.

The last Audi in the race also fought for a podium place in today’s result. After 42 kilometers, Matthias Ekström was a minute behind Loeb. At the next barrier, his deficit grew to two minutes.

After 128 kilometers, Loeb built up a lead of seven minutes over Moraes. At kilometer 156, the hypothetical gap increased to eight minutes. Loeb can’t be stopped and push the throttle to the finish line.

Nasser Al-Attiyah

Nasser Al-Attiyah leads by an hour and a half over the last two stages Zoom in

After nearly two hours of driving, Loeb took his fifth consecutive stage win. It was his sixth win this year. The Prodrive driver thus won half of the previous stages.

Ekstrom finished second, just over three minutes behind. Al-Attiyah extended his overall lead by finishing third. Morais/Gotschalk lost more than 11 minutes to Loeb today, losing second place to the French.

With two stages to go in Dammam, Al-Attiyah is almost an hour and a half ahead of Loeb in the overall standings. Moraes/Gottschalk is now two minutes clear of Loeb in third. The place for the platform must be safe for them, because the cushion in the back is large.

“The second part of the marathon phase is always something special,” says Gottschalk. “Our Toyota was in good shape, but the stage was tough. Because we started in reverse yesterday, there were a lot of steep dune climbs.”

Lucas Morais

Rookie Lucas Moraes dropped to third Zoom in

“We hung on once – not bad, that’s part of it. We’re happy! We know we can’t keep Sebastien Loeb. We’ll keep moving forward.”

Tomorrow we will head north from Shaybah to Hofuf. The thirteenth and penultimate stage covers 669 kilometers, and the classified section is 154 kilometers.

Stage 12 result (top 10):
01. Loeb / Lurquin (Prodrive Hunter) – 1:56:21 hrs
02. Ekström/Bergqvist (Audi) +3: 19 min
03. Al-Attiyah/Baumel (Toyota) +3:31
04. Shesherit / Winock (Prodrive Hunter) +7:13
05. Przygonski/Moonlyon (X-raid Mini JCW Plus) +8:02
06. Serradori/Minaudier (The Century) +8:59
07. Prokop/Chetka (Ford) +9:58
08. Al-Rajhi/von Zitzewitz (Toyota) +10:46
09. de Villiers / Murphy (Toyota) +11: 34
10. Moraes/ Gottschalk (Toyota) +11:38

Overall standings after 12 of 14 stages (top 10):
01. Al-Attiyah/Baumel (Toyota) 41:16:25 hours
02. Loeb/Lurquin (Prodrive Hunter) +1: 27:10 hrs
03. MORAEES/ Gottschalk (Toyota) +1: 29: 11
04. de Villiers / Murphy (Toyota) +2: 22: 21
05. Lategan / Cummings (Toyota) +2: 34: 21
06. Prokop/Chetka (Ford) +3:00:26
07. Baragwanath / Cremer (Century) +3:34:23
08. Han/Li (Hanoi) +4:11:38
09. Serradori / Minaudier (Century) +4:17:38
10. Yacopini / Oliveiras Carreras (Toyota) +4: 17:53

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