Mattias Ekström fastest in the prologue among the car drivers, Tosha Scharein's Honda among the motorcyclists

Mattias Ekström fastest in the short prologue of Dakar 2024 ahead of Seth Quinter, Sebastien Loeb was third. Defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyah was not in the top ten.

Forty-sixth performance Dakar Rally and fifth v Saudi Arabia started today with a short prologue. Audi wants to win the podium for the first time in its third start with an electric drive. Mattias Ekström showed the speed of the RS Q e-tron with the fastest time in the prologue.

The prologue was a short warm-up to determine the order for the first stage. Approximately 130 kilometers from the bivouac in Al-'Uli was short A 27-kilometer speed test, on which time was measured. 70 cars lined up on the starting line. In contrast to the engines that started in reverse order, the prologue was the first to start with the biggest favourites. They took to the track right behind the best motorcyclists. The terrain was challenging, as the prologue took place around large rocks and on sandy ground.

Defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyah is after the transfer from Toyota v Prodrive was the first to cross the starting ramp and was the first driver to set his fastest time at the finish line. But the Qatari sports star who also wants to perform at Olympic Games in Paris, did not retain its ranking for long.

Audi driver Mattias Ekstrom was the fastest in the short introductory speed test with a time of 16:30 min. Seth Quintero, driving in the top class for the first time since stepping up from the T3 class to replace Al-Attiyah at Toyota, immediately showed his talent.

The American placed second. World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb (Prodrive) he set the third fastest time. The Baumgart brothers, Marcos and Cristian followed. The Brazilians in the X-Rally team each drive one Prodrive's Hunter.

Poljak Krzysztof Holowczyc, who is participating in the Dakar for the first time since 2015, is in X-raid's T1+ vehicle, Mini JCW Plus, took sixth place. A record winner Stephane peterhansel is embarking on his 35th Dakar with Audi. He started in seventh place.

Among the motorcyclists, four achieved a time under 18 minutes. Besides Scharein, Sanders in Branch was also among them Adrien van Beveren (Honda). World Rally Raid Championship Champion Luciano Benavides placeholder image has the starting number 1 on his Husqvarna. The Argentinian finished in fifth place. As expected, the two Slovenians at the Dakar started cautiously, because it was Simon Marčič the prologue finished in 69th place, Toni Mulec and he was 85.

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