The German co-driver Timo Gottschalk (Berlin) and his Brazilian driver Lucas Moraes are still on course for the podium at the 45th Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.

On the ninth stage from Riyadh to Haradh, the Toyota duo finished tenth with Sebastien Loeb (France/Prodrive) winning the day and thus moved up to second place in the overall standings.

On Tuesday evening, the organizers announced the first death at this year's Dakar.

An Italian tourist who was behind a dune was hit by a participating vehicle.

The person died during the rescue transport in the helicopter.

Organizer ASO announced an investigation into the accident.

Since 1979, more than 70 people, including some fans and journalists, have lost their lives in the traditional rally.

Carlos Sainz abandons the Dakar Rally

Meanwhile, the Spanish veteran Carlos Sainz gave up the ninth stage after another serious accident and will not continue the rally either.

The three-time winner and his co-driver Lucas Cruz overturned their Audi just five kilometers after the start.

The duo had already had an accident on Friday, when the left front wheel of the car was torn off.

According to the organizers, the Spaniard wanted to try "to start the special stage again, but finally gave up because he was still suffering from chest pain on the right side".

The father of Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz junior won the Dakar in 2010, 2018 and 2020.

It was a "very tough test," said Gottschalk.

Shortly after the start he saw Sainz who had rolled over.

“We decided to take it easy on this stage.

We were very patient today, let a few cars pass us," explained the 48-year-old: "We're keeping an eye on the overall standings, not on the daily placings.

The car is in great condition.

This is important."

In the overall standings, the gap to the leading defending champion Nasser al-Attiyah (Qatar/Toyota) is 1:21.57 hours.

In third place, around 22 minutes behind Gottschalk and Moraes, is the winner of the day, Loeb.