On the schedule for today, racers found equal parts sandy stretches and gravel sections, mostly on tracks. However, do not confuse speed with precipitation, as the arduous navigation will require some clear decisions. History buffs will like the area as the route comes near the Nabatean temples.
Francisco ‘Chaleco’ López has left Aron Domżała and took over an early lead during Stage 4 by km 346. Michel Guthrie Jr. became Lopez’s closest opponent while overall leader Casey Currie was more than 13 minutes behind.
In the end it was an American winning the Dakar stage. Dakar rookie Mitchell Guthrie Jr. only took four days to take his first stage win. The 23-year-old American beat Aron Domżała by a mere 19 seconds. Meanwhile, José Antonio Hinojo has risen to the top of the general classification.
The result has propelled Guthire Jr. to sixth overall, just half an hour behind race new leader Jose Antonio Hinojo Lopez. Chaleco Lopez is in second, three minutes off the summit. “We had no flats or any other problems,” Guthrie Jr. said. “We were able to keep it moving all day.”
“200 kilometers before the finish we lost all our spare wheels, Aron Domżała explained. “It was so stressful to drive on these tracks with rocks everywhere. In the stage, there were a million rocks — small, big, small, big, medium! But I think we did well, we overtook everybody in our class and now we’re waiting for our time.”
The Americans are making a name for themselves at this year’s Dakar. Can they keep it up and win the SSV class? Tell us in the comments below!