Beginning the new 48-hour chrono stage, riders were initially faced with a short liaison that led them to the start of a 626-kilometre timed special that they are given two days to complete. Venturing deeper into the featureless Empty Quarter, riders commented on the extreme physicality of the special, which takes them through the endless dunes and chotts of the Saudi Arabian desert.
Husqvarna Factory Racing star Luciano Benavides has completed the first half of the new 48-hour chrono stage as fifth-fastest. Covering 513 out of a possible 626 kilometres of the timed special, the FR 450 Rally rider now has a short day of racing ahead of him tomorrow to complete the demanding two-day stage.
Taking advantage of his mid-pack start position, Benavides focused on his roadbook while maintaining a strong pace over the rolling dunes. Successfully tackling the complex navigation, that featured many hidden waypoints and headings, Luciano finished stage 6a provisionally in fifth place on his Husqvarna Factory Racing machine.
Benavides was one of only 12 riders to reach rest point F, 513 kilometres into the special. This leaves the Argentinian with only 113 kilometres to race against the clock on Friday’s second half of stage 6, followed by a 110km liaison before being reunited with the team at the end of the ultra-challenging marathon stage.
Andreas Hölzl – Rally Team Manager: “Today was a good day for Luciano, he put in a really strong performance on what has easily been one of the toughest stages of the event so far. After his disappointing day yesterday, it’s great to see him pushing on again. He made it to bivouac F after a long, hot day and that means there is not long to go on the special tomorrow. I think everyone on the team is looking forward to a well-deserved rest day in Riyadh.”
2024 Dakar Rally – Stage 6a Provisional Classification
1. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 6:30:39
2. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 6:32:00
3. Toby Price (KTM) 6:32:38
4. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 6:34:11
5. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 6:36:46