al-Attiyah crashes out of Dakar
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN : Qatar's Nasser al-Attiyah has been forced to retire from the 2013 Dakar Rally due to mechanical damage to his Red Bull buggy. Image: AFP
CORDOBA, Argentina - Nasser al-Attiyah has pulled out of the 2013 Dakar Rally because of mechanical failure, his team announced on Tuesday.
Al-Attiyah, 42, and co-driver Lucas Cruz had been pushing for the overall lead of the race until repeated breakdowns on the 851km stage nine between Tucuman and Cordoba in Argentina forced them to abandon. A broken water pump was to blame.
PUSHING FOR THE LEAD
At the start of Stage 9 he was second in the overall four-wheel classification, three minutes behind Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel, who is pushing for his 11th Dakar win.
The Qatari driver, who won the race in 2011 and was second in 2010, was taking part in a buggy developed over the last five months by Red Bull Motorsport.
The Red Bull Rally Team's other buggy, driven by Spain's Carlos Sainz, pulled out on Stage 6, also with mechanical problems.
Wheels24 is following the 'Dakar' rally throughout the race. Keep up with things on our Dakar Rally section.
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The 9500km haul through Argentina and Chile was the longest, highest and toughest Dakar yet. Among the survivors were Toyota South Africa's Giniel de Villiers, Dirk von Zitzewitz, Leeroy Poulter, Rob Howie and privateers Thomas Rundle and Juan Mohr.
Giniel de Villiers was not the only South African to make waves at the 2014 Dakar, truck driver Albert Geel was co-driver in the fastest truck running in the grueling rally.