Dakar 2021 prologue: Baragwanath steals the show

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15:41 Baragwanath steals the show

Brian Baragwanath started the prologue in 38th place, but he went on to finish runner-up within the same second as winner Nasser al-Attiyah! It was a spectacular comeback to the Dakar for the driver from South Africa, racing at the wheel of the Century CR6 developed by Mathieu Serradori along with Taye Perry, who wrapped up his first Dakar on a motorbike last year.

15:27 Coronel Bros. hit the road

Tim and Tom Coronel are starting their fourth consecutive Dakar together. The Dutch twins have become part of the legend of the rally after 13 starts.

15:02 Dumas already losing six minutes

The Frenchman has taken twice as long as the winner to finish the prologue. It looks like he has been unable to shake off the bad luck that plagued him last year in time for the start of his fourth Dakar 

14:54 Przygoński third in the prologue

Jakub Przygoński came in third in the car prologue. Driving at the wheel of a Toyota he knows inside and out, the Pole who made his Dakar debut in 2009 as a biker hopes to become the first driver from his country to win the car race.

14:42 Al-Rajhi hot on Al-Attiyah’s heels

Yazeed Al-Rajhi finished second in the car prologue, eight seconds behind his Qatari rival. The Saudi driver got off to a solid start in his seventh Dakar (the second on home turf) and is a man to watch in 2021. 

14:37 36th stage win for Al-Attiyah

Nasser Al-Attiyah has wasted no time in taking control of the car category. The Qatari has taken his career tally to 36 stage wins, just 10 shy of his French rival Stéphane Peterhansel. However, it’s not all good news for him, as he will have to open the road in tomorrow’s 277 km long opening special.

14:21 Despres and Horn out to tame the Saudi Arabian desert

Cyril Despres has started the prologue of the 2021 Dakar. The Frenchman has joined forces with the great explorer, Mike Horn, for the second year in a row to lay the groundwork for an even more important project —their ambition to take part in the rally in a hydrogen-powered car by 2023 or 2024.

14:11 Serradori goes private

It is Mathieu Serradori’s turn to start the car race. The Frenchman, driving at the wheel of a private CR6, will be looking to cause another upset like last year’s, when he bested the top guns to become the first amateur driver to win a stage since Guy Delardrière in 1988.

13:59 Loeb is back!

It is now Sébastien Loeb’s turn to start the prologue. The Frenchman has joined Bahrain Raid Xtreme after sitting out the 2020 edition. Still racing with Daniel Elena at his side, the nine-time WRC champion will be looking to draw first blood in his duel with Carlos Sainz and Nasser Al-Attiyah from behind the wheel of a new 4×4 developed by an experienced manufacturer and team. 

13:50 Al-Rajhi back on home turf

Local hero Yazeed Al-Rajhi is racing in his seventh Dakar, the second one on home turf. After spending most of 2020 on lockdown and unable to race, the Saudi claimed third place in the Andalucía Rally. He also took part in the Ha’il Rally, which used several tracks featuring in the 2021 Dakar. He is now gunning for what would be a historical podium finish in front of his home crowd.

13:49 ‘Monsieur Dakar’ hits the road

13-time Dakar champion Stéphane Peterhansel has started today’s special. After a spectacular duel with Carlos Sainz last year, the Frenchman will again be driving the same car as his Spanish rival: X-Raid’s excellent Mini.

13:39 Al-Attiyah chasing after Sainz

The 2019 champion and 2020 runner-up is looking to strike the first blow against his main rival Carlos Sainz. The Qatari has Mathieu Baumel at his side in their Toyota Hilux and comes fresh off a triumph in the Rally of Andalusia last October

13:35 Sainz leads the charge

The 2020 champion is on the hunt for his 37th stage win. The Spaniard, driving with Lucas Cruz at his side, was the first car driver to start the prologue of the 2021 Dakar. The 58-year-old Spaniard remains as dynamic as any rookie after 13 Dakar starts.

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