2021 Dakar Stage 6 was supposed to be a 448 km special between Al Qaisumah and Ha’il. Due to a large number of competitors struggling on stage 5 (read our report here) the stage was shortened by 100 km to 348 and the start delayed by 90 minutes. Today’s stage consisted mainly of sandy dunes, with less chance of teams getting lost in tricky terrain.
It was defending champion Carlos Sainz (Mini) who went unchallenged throughout the day. He led the field at every checkpoint and comfortably won the stage. His was pace was unmatched and the closest challenge came from local driver Yazeed Al Rajhi (in a privateer Toyota Hilux). The fight for third place was contest by rally leaders Stephane Peterhansel (Mini) and Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota). The Qatari got the better of the Frenchmen and claimed third at the end of the stage, taking 55 seconds out of Peterhansel’s overall lead. Al Rajhi’s teammate Jakub Przygonski had another great day and finished fifth on 2021 Dakar Stage 6.
After his emphatic win on stage five, Giniel de Villiers lost time early on today and finished 8th on the stage. Thanks to broken suspension arm suffered by Sebastien Loeb, and issues suffered by other rivals, De Villiers is now in the top ten overall. Brian Baragwanath is another South African who has been impressive since day one. He now lies sixth in the general classification.
Having won his second stage of the week, Sainz trails the car category leader Stéphane Peterhansel by 40 minutes. He said after the stage: “Today the stage was more in the sand and on sandy tracks, so it was not so difficult for navigation, really. There were not many places where you could get it wrong, so everything was good. My best moment is maybe today and the worst is all the rest of the days – I have been losing a lot of time, so it’s not easy”.
General classification after 2021 Dakar Stage 6
- Stephane Peterhansel Mini 22 hours 14 min 03 sec
- Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota +5 min 53 sec
- Carlos Sainz Mini +40 min 39 sec
- Jakub Przygonski Toyota +1 hour 11 min 36 sec
- Nani Roma BRX +1 hour 36 min 55 sec
- Brian Baragwanath Century +1 hour 50 min 32 sec
- Vladimir Vasilyev Mini +2 hour 05 min 47 sec
- Sheik Khalid Al Qassimi Peugeot +2 hour 07 min 21 sec
- Giniel de Villiers Toyota +2 hour 12 min 12 sec
- Martin Prokop Ford +2 hour 29 min 07 sec