Hit on Barreda's table in another Sainz fourth place

Victory for the Castellón player after being suspended on Thursday and the Madrid native almost secured third place in the duel between Al Rajhi, leader, and Al Attiyah.


They are more than 4,000 kilometers from their homeland, but Al Rajhi and Al Attiyah are at home in Andalusia. In the fight for the rally only Arabic is spoken. Both have shared the victories every day, being the first for the Saudi, the second for the Qatari and the third on Friday again for the first, who returns to take the lead in this particular 'Rally of Al-Andalus' with just 25 seconds ahead of the Toyota driver of the official team. A fight that Sainz is the one he sees closest to from his third place overall.

It is true that the Madrid buggy suffers a handicap in these areas that prevents it from being in the fight for victory, but also that Carlos and Lucas Cruz are defending themselves wonderfully with it in the meantime 4x4. You can say very loud after repeating fourth place in the third and penultimate stage of the competition, another that once again saw its planned route altered with a cut of 70 km for safety reasons (without further explanation). So of the initial 233 km, they stayed in just over 160.

1h 44:38 took Al Rajhi to complete the day and in 46 seconds more did Al Attiyah, which caused the aforementioned change of leadership between the two Toyota Arabs. Among them will be the victory of the rally because Sainz has something far away. He lost 2:22 with the best of the day, he was overtaken by the other Mini of the X-Raid, Peterhansel's 4x4, by 29 seconds, but retains a podium position (more than seven minutes behind the leader) that is practically assured (takes 13 in French). Also very good sixth for Esteve with the Hilux, although the best Spaniard of the day was seen on motorcycles.

Barreda's Big Day

As bad as things go, Barreda always manages to stand out one day. A penalty of no less than 14 minutes for skipping a checkpoint in the second stage left Castellón totally off the hook in the standings, but in the third he delivered one of his usual hits on the table with a spectacular pace. His time of 1h 47:28 was unattainable for the rest, as evidenced by the more than three minutes that he took out Walkner and Kevin Benavides, although then the penalties, already usual, changed the picture a bit. Barreda was once again sanctioned with two minutes, enough to preserve the victory although by 1:45 over Benavides, who remains the leader with his Honda with six and a half minutes of income over Van Beveren and over seven over Santolino (he yielded 6: 18 with Joan). In the absence of a stage, the Argentine has the victory in sight.

Photos from as.com
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