Dakar SS4 X-Raid: Third place in the Challenger classification for Casale

309 CASALE Ignacio (chl), LEON Alvaro (chl), X-Raid Yamaha Supported Team, Yamaha X-Raid YXZ 1000 R Turbo, FIA Challenger, action during the Stage 4 of the Dakar 2024 on January 9, 2024 between Al Salamiya and Al-Hofuf, Saudi Arabia - Photo Antonin Vincent / DPPI

– Eighth place on the day for Vaidotas Zala
– Tomorrow: full dune programme

On the fourth stage, Vaitodas Zala and Paulo Fiuza in their MINI JCW Rally Plus stuck to their strategy: consistently fast without taking too many risks. They finished the 299-kilometre stage in eighth place and made up another position in the overall standings with ninth place. Krzysztof Holowczyc and Lukasz Kurzeja in the MINI JCW Rally Plus are fighting their way back into the leading group. They initially finished today’s stage in 14th place. However, a time penalty of 31:50 minutes dropped them back to 36th place.

After yesterday’s technical problems, Ignacio Casale and Alvaro Leon showed today what is possible with the X-raid 1000R Turbo. Starting 32nd, they put the pedal to the metal and were delighted to finish in third place.

Four stages have been completed and eight more lie ahead of the participants. Including the new 48h chrono stage. So far, the plan to stay away from taking too many risks seems to be working for Zala. The Lithuanian consistently set top 10 times today and finished the day in eighth place. He is now ninth in the overall standings.

Casale was able to match the times of the top 10 right from the start. But his favourite terrain came right at the end: the dunes. Here the Chilean really turned up the heat in the X-raid 1000R Turbo and secured third place. As a result of yesterday’s problems and the associated time penalty, Casale is at the back of the overall standings.

His team-mates Pal Lonyai and Filippo Ippolito finished 23rd in the X-raid 1000R Turbo. Annett Quandt and Annie Seel crossed the finish line in 34th place.

Tomorrow’s stage to Shubaytah will take the participants into the Empty Quarter. 118 kilometres doesn’t sound like a lot, but 100% of the stage will take place in the dunes.

Quotes from the drivers
Vaidotas Zala (#214 MINI JCW Rally Plus): « It was a day for the navigators! A very tricky day. Paulo did a very good job. We are sticking to the strategy of driving just fast enough to avoid mistakes. It seems to be working so far. But we still have a lot of challenges ahead of us. »

Krzysztof Holowczyc (#217 MINI JCW Rally Plus): « Unfortunately, we’re a long way off in sporting terms. It shouldn’t be like this, but that’s motorsport and especially the Dakar. After the accident on Sunday, our physiotherapist has to get us back up to speed, and he’s doing a great job! At the beginning of the stage it’s ok and I feel good, then the pain comes back practically at the first big bump. It’s very difficult for me. Lukas also has back pain. In this condition it was also difficult for us to concentrate and that’s why we made some navigational errors. The most important thing is to keep going and not give up. »

Annett Quandt (#321 X-raid 1000R Turbo): « Due to the problems yesterday, we started very far back today. As a result, we were driving in the dust for almost the entire time and had to overtake a lot of cars. Nevertheless, we were able to make good progress at first. But then, unfortunately, we had problems with the navigation and lost a lot of time. »

Dakar 2024 – result SS4 (Ultimate-class)
1. S. Loeb / F. Lurquin – Prodrive – 2h 36m 02s
2. Y. Al-Rajhi / T. Gottschalk – Toyota – 2h 37m 10s
3. N. Al-Attiyah / M. Baumel – Prodrive – 2h 37m 24s
4. C. Sainz / L. Cruz – Audi – 2h 41m 00s
5. G. de Mevius / X. Panseri – Toyota – 2h 41m 23s…
8. V. Zala / P. Fiuza – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 2h 43m 40s…
36. K. Holowczyc / L. Kurzeja – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 3h 22m 54s

Overall standings (Ultimate-class)
1. Y. Al-Rajhi / T. Gottschalk – Toyota – 15h 44m 39s
2. C. Sainz / L. Cruz – Audi – 15h 48m 58s
3. N. Al-Attyiah / M. Baumel – Prodrive – 15h 55m 42s
4. M. Ekström / E. Bergkvist – Audi – 16h 02m 21s
5. L. Moraes / A. Monleon – Toyota – 16h 04m 10s…
9. V. Zala / P. Fiuza – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 16h 17m 21s…
55. K. Holowczyc / L. Kurzeja – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 48h 12m 48s

Dakar 2024 result SS4 (Challenger-class)
1. E. Goczal / O. Mena – Taurus – 2h 58m 28s
2. M. Goczal / S. Gospodarczyk – Taurus – 3h 04m 38s
3. I. Casale / A. Leon – X-raid 1000R Turbo – 3h 12m 30s
4. M. Goczal / M. Marton – Taurus – 3h 13m 36s
5. R. Porem / A. Sanz – Can-Am – 3h 14m 03s…
23. P. Lonyai / F. Ippolito – X-raid 1000R Turbo – 3h 50m 38s…
34. A. Quandt / A. Seel – X-raid 1000R Turbo – 4h 30m 37s

Overall standings (Challenger-class)
1. E. Goczal / O. Mena – Taurus – 17h 18m 25s
2. M. Goczal / M. Marton – Taurus – 17h 49m 20s
3. M. Guthrie / K. Walch – Taurus – 17h 54m 48s
4. A. Jones / G. Gugelmin – Can-Am – 18h 23m 39s
5. F. Lopez / J. Latrach – Can-Am – 18h 25m 03s…
29. A. Quandt / A. Seel – X-raid 1000R Turbo – 26h 37m 06s
30. I. Casale / A. Leon – X-raid 1000R Turbo – 49h 24m 14s…
33. P. Lonyai / F. Ippolito – X-raid 1000R Turbo – 54h 19m 21s