Loeb : “On a fait un beau rallye”

Paul Rouget, Media365: published on Friday January 14, 2022 at 7:53 p.m.

Finally second in this Saudi Dakar behind the untouchable Nasser al-Attiyah, Sébastien Loeb believes that he “cannot blame himself for much” after this new runner-up place on the famous rally-raid.

So there was no miracle for Sébastien Loeb. For his sixth participation in the Dakar, the first with his Belgian co-driver Fabian Lurquin, the nine-time world rally champion could not do better than a second place finish, equaling his best result obtained in 2017. Because it is still the Qatari Nasser al-Attiyah (Toyota) who won, for the fourth time, finishing 27 minutes and 46 seconds ahead of the Habs. An outcome already almost certain the day before, when the French driver from Bahrain Raid Xtreme had received a penalty during the 11th and penultimate stage, after losing big on the third day of racing. Fourth Friday of the final stage, won by his compatriot Stéphane Peterhansel, he then showed himself to be rather satisfied with his performances during this Saudi rally-raid, where he won two new stages.

“I still had fun”

“I think we had a good rally. We had a problem at the start and given the gaps that there were on the stages of this rally, we couldn’t catch up. We tried to attack all along, so we can’t blame ourselves much. It’s part of the game, it’s a mechanical sport and you have to accept it, recognized the Alsatian on the organization’s website. The Dakar is above all a very long event, so it may seem cruel when you have a problem at the end, but our situation was different, we lost time at the start. At the time of our problem, we said to ourselves: “it’s over”, but we still managed to fight, even if the match was at a distance. We could only grab some time. Nasser has enormous experience, a co-driver who doesn’t make many mistakes, so he managed his race very well. I still had fun because every time we took time off him, it was a good time.” And he probably hopes to experience others on the famous rally-raid…

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