The fourth stage of the 2022 Dakar Rally was the longest special the competitors would have to face in this year’s edition. Day five had a 465 km long timed section and a 242 km liaison into Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh.

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SA lad took off again

South African Hein Lategan set the pace early on once again, crossing the timing equipment at waypoint 1 in his Gazoo Racing Hilux. Lategan was a mere six seconds ahead of hard-charging Spaniard and former Dakar champion Carlos Sainz 40 km in. Furthermore, Sainz’s teammate Stephane Peterhansel wasn’t far behind in the second Audi RS Q E-tron.

Lategan was still in the lead at midday, but disaster struck at 310 km in leaving the South African having to wait for support. By that point, Nasser Al-Attiyah was poised to take advantage. However, 3 km later Sainz had etched himself a minute lead over the overall standings leader, as well as the local favourite Yazeed Al Rajhi.

The Toyota Gazoo Racing entries will be watched closely, as late last night it the Dakar stewards released a statement about a five-minute penalty imposed on Henk Lategan’s Hilux. It was found that the maximum boost pressure allowed was exceeded on special stage 2 six times.

This was just after Nasser-Al Attiyah suffered a financial penalty for not having his data logger connected. This means the FIA technical representatives were not able to check diagnostics after the end of a stage.

More drama at the end of the day

French WRC legend Sébastien Loeb kept his nose clean throughout the day. He lined up his BRX within striking distance of the day’s fastest runners. He finished 39 seconds behind Al Rajhi, but the Saudi was slapped with a two-minute penalty for speeding on the liaison.

Eventually, Nasser Al-Attiyah was declared the stage winner, the 44th of his career on the 44th running of the Dakar Rally. Loeb was just 25 seconds behind and Sainz another 27 to round off the top three. The two racers maintain their lead at the top of the overall rankings.

General classification after 2022 Dakar Stage 4

  1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (Gazoo Hilux) 13 hr 26 min 02 sec
  2. Sébastien Loeb (BRX) + 38 min 05 sec
  3. Yazeed Al Rajhi (Overdrive Hilux) + 49 min 15 sec
  4. Giniel de Villiers (Gazoo Hilux) + 49 min 17 sec
  5. Lucio Alvarez (Overdrive Hilux) + 53 min 58 sec
  6. Vladimir Vasilyev (VRT) +1hr 03 min 52 sec
  7. Jakub Przygonski (X-Raid Mini) + 1 hr 11 min 57 sec
  8. Orlando Terranova (BRX) + 1 hr 16 min 42 sec
  9. Sebastian Halpern (X-Raid Mini) + 1 hr 17 min 23 sec
  10. Martin Prokop (Orlen) + 1 hr 20 min 26 sec