The 2021 Dakar Rally convoy are taking Saturday off to rest up their jaded bodies and minds after the first week of off-road racing’s most fearsome challenge conjured up loads of thrilling action across the sand dunes.
The second staging of the iconic rally raid race in Saudi Arabia has seen the usual suspects shine, while rookie teenage sensation Seth Quintero excelled in the desert. Here are the five key moments so far:
1) After three-time car champion Nasser Al-Attiyah and Australian bike rookie Daniel Sanders impressed in Saturday’s prologue, Sunday’s first stage saw Spaniard Cristina Gutiérrez tame the punishing 277-kilometre Stage One route to set the fastest time in the Lightweight Vehicles category. The Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team star – driving in her fifth Dakar Rally – revealed: “We had one puncture, but I think everyone had at least one today. The work that my co-driver François (Cazalet) did on the navigation was incredible.”