This time, it's over for Loeb!

This time, it’s over for Loeb!

While he could still hope to win his first Dakar title, Sébastien Loeb suffered a mechanical problem during the penultimate stage which ruined his chances of victory.

Sébastien Loeb is definitely cursed on the Dakar. While he was back on the heels of Carlos Sainz at the top of the general classification for the benefit of the 10th stage, only 13 minutes behind his Spanish rival two days before the start, the Alsatian driver saw his dreams of victory collapsed during the 11th stage. Coming back around twenty seconds from the Audi driver, who left with his foot to the floor, at the second intermediate point, the Frenchman was the victim of a mechanical breakdown.

Sébastien Loeb and his co-driver were forced to stop at kilometer 132, seeing Carlos Sainz, who had left ten minutes after him, pass onto the special route. Unable to repair, the nine-time WRC world champion was left to call his team to the rescue. The assistance truck never came and after considering leaving the special, the Frenchman was able to repair and leave behind the wheel of his Hunter Prodrive after more than an hour of effort.

The way is clear for Carlos Sainz

And if Sébastien Loeb no longer has any hope of winning this Dakar, the end of the race is not without challenges for the Habs who can still hope to finish on the podium. At kilometer 138, he was still third in the virtual general classification with only 8” ahead of Guillaume De Mevius.

The road is now clear for Carlos Sainz, who, at 61, is flying towards a fourth victory after those won in 2010, 2018 and 2020. For the Frenchman, he will still have to wait before hoping to raise his arms on the Dakar. In 2025, the rally driver will compete in the race for Dacia. The car brand will indeed compete for the first time in the Dakar. The challenge promises to be immense.

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