Captain Saleh wants to shine at home
The 2020 Dakar was a learning process for Saleh Al Saif, and the Saudi did so in style reaching the finish of his maiden Dakar at a fine 12th spot of the SSV class. The driver from Ha’il returns with far bigger ambitions. His season results have certainly boosted his moral, especially those claimed at his very own Baja Ha’il just a few weeks ago. The 43-year-old known as “Captain Saleh” indeed conquered two consecutive wins there in the T3 class, eventually finishing 2nd of the FIA World Cup for cross-country bajas behind Russian Vasily Gryazin. For his second Dakar, Al Saif will again be driving a Can-Am but will this time have Spaniard Oriol Vidal at his side. After a long career riding quads, the young navigator will be living his third Dakar on the left seat of an SSV after competing and failing to finish with Santi Navarro in 2017 and claiming 22nd spot in 2019 with Argentinean Adrian Santos.
O.V.M. :Esta será mi tercera participación en el Dakar y la primera en Arabia Saudí. Muy contendo de poder volver a la carrera más dura del mundo junto a Saleh.
Ha sido un acuerdo muy a última hora y el Dakar será nuestro primer evento juntos por lo que necesitaremos un poco de adaptación al principio. Espero que podamos estar pronto a la altura y pelear por las posiciones de cabeza.
Cada vez hay más nivel en la categoría por lo que no va a ser tarea fácil, pero vamos a darlo todo para hacer un buen espectaculo y validar nuestro nivel.
FN SPEED - BLACK HORSE TEAM
- Mark : CAN - AM
- Model : X3 T3PRO
- Performance tuner : Black Horse
- Assistance : Black Horse
- Class : T4.1 Turbo production SSVs
All news of S. Alsaif
Varela and Alsaif take the lead
Reinaldo Varela and Saleh Alsaif currently occupy the top two places after 122 km, within the same minute. Sergey Karyakin, runner-up to Casey Currie last year in the category, leads the group of pursuers including Chaleco López, more than two minutes behind.
López declared the winner!
"Chaleco" López has been deducted the 45 minutes he spent helping a biker who had crashed, which makes him the fastest driver in today's stage and the winner of the special originally attributed to Saleh Alsaif.
Alsaif takes the spoils
Saleh Alsaif takes his second win of the season. The Saudi started in 12th position and consistently gained ground until he took control of the race at km 316. Reinaldo Varela and Michał Goczał came in over two minutes down.
Double delight for Saudi Arabia?
Saleh Alsaif is still in command of the stage. 358 kilometres into the special, the Saudi has almost two and a half minutes to spare over Reinaldo Varela and more than three over Aron Domżała. Following Yazeed Al-Rajhi's triumph in the car race, it looks like we will be getting a second Saudi victory today!
Alsaif gives it his all
Local hero Saleh Alsaif is surging up the standings. After starting 12th today, the Saudi is running second at km 215, a mere 22 seconds behind Reinaldo Varela. Aron Domżała remains within striking distance, 39" behind Alsaif. Kris Meeke has faded somewhat and has been overtaken by stage 1 winner Cristina Gutiérrez.
A home win for Alsaif
Saleh Alsaif, participating in his second Dakar, has won stage two in the SSV category. In his homeland, the Saudi beat Gerard Farrés, second on the Dakar 2019, by 1’40. Chaleco Lopez completes the day’s top 3 and has taken advantage of a dip in performance from Austin Jones to take the lead in the general standings.
SSV: Alsaif overtakes Margaillan
After leading for a little more than 100 km, Matthieu Margaillan now finds himself in second place, 2’07 behind Saleh Alsaif in the SSV provisional standings. The Frenchman is even under threat from veteran driver Reinaldo Varela, who is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his first Dakar this year.
Alsaif shining in the SSV race
Saleh Alsaif has got off to a flying start and is leading the SSV special after 71 km. The Saudi has just under a minute to spare over a rock-solid Francisco López, while Austin Jones remains on the prowl in third place.
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