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Speed it up! Al-Rajhi/Gottschalk claim second at “Dakar”

7. January 2024

Further contributions

  • Top driving and navigational performance: fifth place on the day for Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk
  • World championship runners-up take more than ten minutes off the new leaders Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz
  • Section from Al Henakiyah to Ad-Dawadimi with a lot of speed, first dune crossings, through canyons and with many tricky direction changes

Ad-Dawadimi, Saudi Arabia (January 7, 2024) – Challenge accepted, challenge mastered: Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk put down a big marker on the second day of the Dakar Rally and took second place in the overall standings. Coming from eighth place, they not only made up ground on paper, but above all on the track. The Saudi-Arabian-Brandenburg duo overtook five rivals early on, setting the fifth-best time of the day and taking over ten minutes off the new front-runners Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (ESP/ESP, Audi) piece by piece. This means that Al-Rajhi/Gottschalk are also in a top starting position for the third day. Just one minute and 51 seconds behind in the overall standings, they will start tomorrow’s leg from Ad-Dawadimi to Al Salmiyah in fifth place – a kind of “sweet spot” in cross-country rallying. Victory on the day went to Stéphane Peterhansel/Edouard Boulanger (FRA/FRA, Audi).

The second leg of the 2024 Dakar Rally led from Al Henakiyah to Ad-Dawadimi. The fast special stage with 462 kilometers against the clock, 49 of which were neutralized in transfer zones on asphalt, was a challenge for drivers and co-drivers alike. For the first time in the 2024 edition of the “Dakar”, dunes were on the agenda, 35 kilometers of rather easy nature thanks to uncomplicated ascents on firm sand. Canyons and a jumble of sandy tracks with many changes of direction in wadis rounded off the program.


“A nice stage, sometimes very technical and slow, sometimes really fast. We got through well, overtook a few competitors and didn’t have any punctures. This second day went really well.”


“The stage is in the bag! We got a lot out of our good starting position, Yazeed drove great. Good pace, but he never overdid it. Navigation was difficult at times and we had to find directions here and there. A nice stage, sometimes fast, sometimes technical. A good day for us!”



… a hot piece of metal. The turbo in the Toyota Hilux DKR, as driven by Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk in the 2024 Dakar Rally, runs at an average of 1,000 degrees Celsius. No wonder: after all, the speeds in this component are 175,000 revolutions.

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