Two-time Dakar Rally winner Nasser al-Attiyah has pulled out of this year’s event after his hopes of a third victory were erased during a torrid third stage.
The Qatari driver, leader of the Toyota Gazoo Racing team, had been leading the field at the 414-kilometre mark when he drove into a deep pothole in the road and broke the right rear-wheel of his Hi-Lux.
The Qatari was able to recover and limped back to the bivouac but at the end of the stage, he trailed race leader Stéphane Peterhansel by more two hours and 17 minutes. At midnight, the team reluctantly made the decision to pull the plug on his Dakar ambitions for this year.
Neither he nor his co-pilot Mathieu Baumel took the start of stage four in San Salvador de Jujuy this morning.