Two days from the finish of the ADDC, Sunderland has taken the lead in the bike class ahead of 2021 title holder Mathias Walkner. In the cars, after mechanical problems for Loeb and Al Attyiah on the first day, it was Al Rajhi's turn to come to a stop on the special and lose his second place overall. Leaders of the T3 and T4 categories didn't ask for that much. « Chaleco » Lopez is now leading W2RC drivers class in the provisional rankings of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
Moto RallyGP: The W2RC leaders in control
The third stage of the ADDC also marked the end of the two Marathon days. Matthias Walkner (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Sam Sunderland (GasGas Factory Racing) set the two fastest times finishing in the same minute. The recent Dakar winner takes the lead of the ADDC overall 4'24'' ahead of the reigning World Champion and winner of the 2021 ADDC. Kevin Benavides (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), this morning’s leader, is now 3rd at 4'28''. The Monster Energy Hondas of Quintanilla and Brabec, in 4th and 5th position, are ready to make their move.
Moto Rally 2: Klein once again
Every day knocking at the door of the top 10, Mason Klein won Rally 2 in front of Romain Dumontier, Paolo Lucci, Konrad Dabrowski and Charan Moore. In the general rankings, we find the two strongest men in this order, followed by Dabrowski, Lucci and Moore.
Quad: Abdulaziz unbeaten
Local rider Ahli Abdulaziz wins his third consecutive stage. Juraj Varga and Rodolfo Guillioli complete the podium of the day. In the provisional ADDC general rankings, they are also in this order.
Drivers' and Co-drivers' World Championship:
Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel won the stage with a 5'16'' lead over Loeb-Lurquin and 5'33'' in front of Peterhansel, not engaged in W2RC, here to further develop the new hybrid Audi. Martin Prokop, also working on his new T1+ Ford and winner of the 2018 ADDC, is 4th ahead of the T3 of Seth Quintero and Dennis Zenz, the Toyota Overdrive of Halpern and Graue, the other OT3 by Overdrive of Gutierrez-Cazalet, the Can-Ams of Jones-Gugelmin and those of Goczal-Gospodarczyk and Del Rio-Leon who complete the top 10. The big loser of the day was Yazeed Al Rajhi who quit the stage with a mechanical problem, as did Serradori and de Mévius. The Toyota Overdrive driver loses his 2nd place in the provisional standings on the ADDC and is now 7th place.
At overall ADDC’s classification after three legs, Peterhansel is in the lead ahead of Prokop and three T3 engaged in the W2RC come close behind. ‘Chaleco’ Lopez from South Racing Can-Am is one hour behind, but just one minute ahead of Cristina Gutierrez (Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team), ten minutes ahead of her team-mate Seth Quintero and seventeen minutes ahead of Marek Goczal (Cobant Energylandia). The first T1 from the W2RC is ‘Kuba’Przygonski (X-Raid Mini JCW), 7th at 1h25'26''. The two T4 of Michal Goczal and Rokas Baciuska from South Racing are in the top 10 closed by Sébastien Loeb. T3 and T4 take advantage of their skills in the dunes and of the T1 mechanical misadventures.
T3: Hot spell for ‘Chaleco’
Leader of the ADDC this morning, with a 21 minute lead over Cristina Gutierrez, ‘Chaleco’ Lopez saw his lead melt away at the beginning of the stage when he lost time repairing a damaged half driveshaft. At the next checkpoint, the Dakar winner had virtually lost the lead for a few handfuls of seconds. At the finish, Seth Quintero won the stage, 3'17'' ahead of his Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team teammate. Herman Garces Echeverria (South Racing Can-Am) took the honours on the podium at 13'47''. The Dakar winner crossed the finish line in fourth place at 23'06" and kept the lead in the ADDC by only 1'12" over his direct rival! At overall ADDC’s classification after three legs, ‘Chaleco’, Cristina and Quintero are all three behind each other and the times are very close together.
T4: First victory for Austin Jones
Dakar winner Austin Jones takes his first victory on the ADDC after three stages. He regained the advantage over Michal Goczal at the very end of the stage and won by just ten seconds! Lucas del Rio finishes 1'34'' behind his South Racing Can-Am team-mate. Marek Goczal finishes 4th at 10'50". Like ‘Chaleco’ in T3, Rokas Baciuska lost half an hour repairing a half driveshaft. But unlike the Chilean, the Lithuanian loses a place in the provisional ADDC overall. Rokas now has the two Cobant Energylandia team brothers in front of him and is more than thirty minutes behind Marek and more than twelve minutes behind Michal. At overall ADDC’s classification this evening, the Goczal brothers are in front of Baciuska. But there is still two days to come for the Lituanian who never give up !
T5: Kees Koolen does it again
Fate is getting the better of Martin Macik. He was buried for an hour yesterday and was not able to complete the stage today. He let the provisional general of the ADDC slip away. Kees Koolen does not have to look as far ahead as 2030 to hope for its first victory in T5 W2RC category !