The last 370 kilometers had to be overcome, 206 against the clock, but despite the distance there was no time for surprises in the fifth and final stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Because besides, those who had the most to lose, they came out to win in a very peculiar way: without risking more than necessary. Al Rajhi in cars and Van Beveren in motorcycles, they paid the desert the respect it deserves and that led them to win the second round of the W2RC World Championship. Perhaps none of them started as favourites, but many times that poster disappears at a stroke as has been seen in an edition, where the Saudi pilot simply had to be regular while he watched as the problems of the top contenders arrived.
Starting by Loeb, who could not finish the rally with victory since the victory of the day was for Lategan by two minutes, the Frenchman already lost all his options in a first day where a cooling problem condemned him to have to fight, simply, for the victories and good points for a championship of which He comes out stronger as a leader. The reason? The subsequent withdrawal of Al Attiyah two days from the end, after an accident that destroyed the Toyota. Already roughly, All this serves to summarize how he has achieved Al Rajhi take a race in which it is not necessary to detract from him. Because the Saudi came out with the need to put together a good performance for recover positions in the general.
Perhaps it ended better than expected, because the Toyota driver (4th overall) has gone from 19 to 64 points, in a World Cup that Loeb continues to dominate with a more considerable advantage over Al Attiyah. The withdrawal of the Qatari made him lose the points that he was going to add for each victory and that loss leaves him 16 points behind the BRX driver with three races to go (Mexico, Argentina and Morocco) to finish the season. But once again, the desert has shown that nothing can be taken for granted and although the Frenchman has a fairly comfortable position as soon as the course has started, things are never how they start but how they end. But ask a Oriol Vidal who after the hard blow of the Dakar, has experienced the opposite process in Abu Dhabi to take the race in T4 together with Baciuska.
Van Beveren passes sentence
From the beginning of the race painted too good for Honda and although the Japanese brand has not managed to seal a triplet that was completely realistic until the third stage, it has taken the most important thing: the victory. Van Beveren he took care of it during a rally where he didn’t need to win to take the race. The best place for the Frenchman was second in the fourth stage and his best asset was managing the lead once Quintanilla withdrew due to a problem on the bike that made him lose the lead and his aspirations. Price tried until the end a comeback which seemed complicated and ended up being impossible, despite the Australian’s victory in the final stage, with which he at least managed to take the lead in the general classification and get on the podium behind Adrien and Luciano Benavides.