Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Stage three of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge saw another second place for Sebastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin, and four more points for Bahrain Raid Xtreme towards their World Rally-Raid Championship (WRRC) campaign.
Once again, the sustainably fuelled Prodrive Hunter ran trouble-free in the searing heat of the Al Dhafra desert, while there were issues for several cars currently lying ahead of the pair in overall WRRC standings, enabling Loeb to climb the leaderboard.
Championship leader Nasser Al Attiyah won the stage but remains 18 hours behind and much further down the leaderboard following his retirement on stage one.
Loeb said, “Today was pretty good for us and we had a clean run. The car was good and the pace ok despite the heat and the sand being very soft. We are not really pushing as we are trying to protect our position for the championship as that is our goal.”
Gus Beteli, BRX Team Principal, said, “It was another good day for us. with the Hunter continuing to perform well in the hot conditions. Seb’s pace means he is continuing to climb the overall WRRC leaderboard, and that is the most important thing for us as our target is to come away from here with the championship lead with three rounds to go.”
In the final standings at the end of the event, T1 cars will score points based on their overall position, not their position within the T1 class. Having lost time on the first stage, this means that Loeb is looking to overtake WRRC competitors in all the classes, not just T1, in order to maximise his championship points.