DAKAR 2015 DAY 3: Al-Attiyah extends lead despite lowly stage finish

BY CHARL BOSCH - JANUARY 7, 2015

Two-thousand-and eleven Dakar Rally winner, Nasser Al-Attiyah, further tightened his stranglehold on this year’s event despite losing over three minutes to second place Giniel de Villiers, during yesterday’s 284 km stage from San Juan to Chilceto.

In spite of clocking only the fifth fastest time, 4 min 18 sec behind teammate and stage winner, Orlando Terrenova, the Qatari remains 5 min 18 sec ahead with de Villiers in turn enjoying an 18 min cushion over third placed Terranova.

Behind the top three, a resurgent Carlos Sainz finished the stage in fourth behind the Toyota Hilux of Saudi Arabian driver, Yazeed Alrajhi, and also finds himself in the same position overall, 1 min 27 sec behind Argentine Terranova.

Sainz’s Peugeot teammate, 11-times Dakar winner Stefan Peterhansel, finished the stage in seventh place but transmission problems and an altercation with a tree on the previous day, has seen the sport’s most successful competitor languishing down in 16th, one hour 12 min 49 sec behind the leader.

After losing over six hours on the opening day, and currently sitting down in 55th position overall, over nine hours behind race leader Al-Attiyah, reigning champion Nani Roma showed what could have been after posting the sixth fastest time. His former two-wheel rival, Cyril Despres, having his first outing on four, completed his best stage of the rally so far by bringing the third Peugeot home in 14th place but placing 20th overall.

An altercation with a dip saw the second the South African entered Toyota Hilux of Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie loosing over an hour with a broken rear axle, dropping them down to 21st position overall, while Johan van Staden and Mike Lawerson experienced a trouble free day in moving to 37th place in their Nissan Navara.

In the motorcycle section, Austrian debutant Matthias Walkner narrowly beat reigning champion Marc Coma by 40 sec for his first stage victory over a route shortened to 220 km. Honda’s Joan Barreda completed the stage in third place behind the two KTM’s edging out Australian rookie Toby Price, also on a KTM, and teammate Paulo Goncalves.

Overall, Barreda continues to dictate pace with a five minute lead over Goncalves while Walkner’s victory has seen him move up to third place 23 sec ahead of Coma with Ruben Faria dropping down to fifth.

Amongst the South African riders, Riaan van Niekerk held on to 15th place with Albert Hintenhaus remaining 67th and Wessel Bosman dropping down to the back of the motorcycle field in 139th place, over 19 hours behind Barrera.

Stage four will see competitors leaving Argentina and entering the Chilean desert for a 315 km special from the bivouac in Chiliceto to Copiapo.

 

STAGE 3 - OVERALL STANDINGS (CARS)

POSITION DRIVER CO-DRIVER NATIONALITY MAKE TIME
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah Mathieu Baumel QAT / FRA Mini 09:21:26
2. Giniel de Villiers Dirk von Zitzewits RSA / GER Toyota +00:05:18
3. Orlando Terranova Ronnie Graue ARG / ARG Mini +00:18:05
4. Carlos Sainz Lucas Cruz ESP / ESP Peugeot +00:19:32
5. Yazeed Alrajhi Timo Gottschalk SAU / GER Toyota +00:20:08
6. Krzysztof Holowczyc Xavier Panseri POL / FRA Mini +00:25:24
7. Erik van Loon Wouter Rosegaar NLD / NLD Mini +00:27:43
8. Bernhard ten Brinke Tom Colsoul NLD / BEL Toyota +00:36:22
9. Carlos Sousa Paulo Fiuza POR / POR Mitsubishi +00:41:52
10. Christian Lavieille Pascal Maimon FRA / FRA Toyota +00:43:38

 

STAGE 3 - OVERALL STANDINGS (BIKES)

POSITION RIDER NATIONALITY MAKE TIME
1. Joan Barreda ESP Honda 05:46:06
2. Paulo Goncalves POR Honda +00:05:33
3. Matthias Walkner AUT KTM +00:10:33
4. Marc Coma ESP KTM +00:10:50
5. Ruben Faria POR KTM +00:12:10
6. Toby Price AUS KTM +00:12:24
7. Jordi Viladoms ESP KTM +00:14:07
8. Jeremias Isreal CHL Honda +00:18:33
9. Helder Rodriques POR Honda +00:18:34
10. Juan Pedrero ESP Yamaha +00:23:02

 

IMAGE sourced from www.dakar.com

 

READ MORE: DAKAR 2015 DAY 2: NASSER TAKES CONTROL

READ MOREDAKAR 2015 DAY 1: ROMA OUT, DE VILLIERS HOME IN THIRD