JEDDAH: Qatari driver Nasser al-Attiyah sent out an early warning to his rivals in the Dakar Rally by winning the car prologue on Saturday while defending champion Ricky Brabec of the USA took the early motorbike honours.
The prologue, being run for the first time in the Dakar’s history, took place on a mainly sandy 11-kilometre route near the Red Sea city of Jeddah. Toyota driver Attiyah, a three-time winner of the most gruelling event in motorsport, earned the right to start first in Sunday’s opening stage, a 622km run from Jeddah to Bisha in the southeast of the kingdom.
Attiyah faces stiff competition from reigning champion Carlos Sainz of Spain.
The Qatari faces a busy 2021 as he is also aiming for a seventh appearance in skeet shooting at the rearranged Tokyo Olympics. It is the second consecutive year that the rally is being held in Saudi Arabia.
Source: The News