Dakar: Al-Attiyah penalised for Sainz interference

Three-time Dakar Rally winner Nasser Al-Attiyah was handed a three-minute post-stage penalty on Tuesday’s competitive running, elevating Fernando Alonso to fourth place on the day.
Al-Attiyah was punished by the event’s commissioners around 20:00 local time on Tuesday. They ruled that he ‘disturbed’ Carlos Sainz for several kilometers after the second neutralized zone of today’s stage.

Sainz and co-driver Lucas Cruz released several audible warnings, according to the document of the stewards, and Al-Attiyah did not react to them. That broke Article 26P.3 of the Dakar 2020 regulations, which states: “All vehicles caught by another must do whatever is necessary to pull over and allow themselves to be overtaken. As soon as a competitor has received 3 requests for overtaking, from one and the same competitor, within a period of time less than or equal to 45 seconds, he must, within 15 seconds following the third request for overtaking, do everything possible to facilitate the overtaking of the competitor making the requests (if the terrain so allows).

The stewards reviewed the Sentinel GPS data system as evidence and decided to impose a three-minute time penalty. The overall positions do not change, except that Al-Attiyah is now 7m55s behind Sainz, but the stage result elevates Alonso to fourth, ahead of the Qatari.

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