The Qatar Red Bull Rally Team maintained their 100% record at the 2013 Dakar by winning a third consecutive stage in the deserts of Peru. Nasser Al-Attiyah kept the party going for his team on Stage Three as he followed up Carlos Sainz’s victories on the first two days with a win of his own. The Qatari driver and his sidekick Lucas Cruz started the day in seventh place before hunting down the cars in front of them to win the stage. The victory moves Nasser and Lucas into second place in the overall rankings.
The third day of 2013 Dakar was not so straightforward for Carlos and his co-driver Timo Gottschalk. The pair surrendered their overall lead on the route between Pisco and Nazca after suffering electrical problems as well as a puncture. Carlos and Timo have fallen down the leaderboard after a tough day but they will start Stage Four with 13 cars in front of them and a great opportunity to make up lost time.
The Buggy of the Qatar Red Bull Rally Team has won all three opening stages of this year’s Dakar and pre-race predictions within the bivouac are being reconsidered. The early stages of the race have seen both drivers and Buggy combine to deliver performances worthy of a podium finish.
However, the hard work for the Qatar Red Bull Rally Team has only just began and continues tomorrow on the 288km timed special stage between Nazca and Arequipa.
Nasser Al-Attiyah: “The stage win is a great result for the team and puts us in a good position to continue our winning strategy on Stage Four. To win the first three stages at the Dakar in our new Buggy is fantastic.
“Today was a very tricky stage with difficult waypoints and lots of soft sand. For Lucas and myself to get our first victory of the year on a stage like this is very satisfying. What feels even better is that our new Buggy has won every stage so far at this Dakar Rally.
Lucas Cruz (co-driver of Nasser Al-Attiyah): “Today was not easy and there were a lot of potential mistakes to be made on the stage. We were not thinking at the beginning of the day that we should try and win the stage but our speed was very good. Winning this stage helps us to close the gap on our competitors.”
Carlos Sainz: “Our engine misfired in the first kilometre of today’s stage and then the problem got worse and worse until we eventually came to a complete stop. I was thinking that the rally was over for us in that moment. We were able to flick the master switch and the power came back, but then the car was stopping and starting throughout the rest of the stage. I’m just relieved that we made it to the end of stage so we can start again tomorrow.”
Timo Gottschalk (co-driver of Carlos Sainz): “We were nervous from the very beginning of today’s stage because of the misfire. Each time our car stopped we couldn’t be sure it would start again. We ended up losing some time today but it could have been a lot worse for us.”