DAKAR 2015 DAY 5: Vasilyev takes first stage victory
Russian Mini driver, Vladimir Vasilyev, emerged as the surprise winner of yesterday’s murderous 458 km stage between Copiapo and Antofagasta in Chile’s Atacama Desert.
Laying 11th in the overall standings, Vasilyev and co-driver Konstantin Zhiltsov finished a slender 20 sec ahead of the Toyota Hilux of the Saudi Arabian / German crew of Yazeed Alrajhi and Timo Gottschalk, with Americans Robby Gordon and Johnny Campbell scoring their best finish of the rally so far in third, 1 min 25 sec further back.
After winning the previous stage by over three minutes, a more cautious approach saw overall rally leader Nasser Al-Attiyah clocking the fourth fastest time ahead of the Peugeot of 11-times rally winner Stefan Peterhansel, and the Toyota Hilux of South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers.
Overall, the Qatari extended his lead over de Villiers to 10 min 35 sec with Alrajhi maintaining his third position some 28 min ahead of the Mini of Polish driver Krzysztof Holowczyc, and 33 min up the road from the similar car of Dutchman Eric van Loon.
Peterhansel’s fourth fastest stage time came as a consolation for Peugeot after teammate, Carlos Sainz, lost over seven hours on stage four due to engine and turbo problems, effectively dropping him out of contention for victory. Similarly, stage one winner Orlando Terranova saw his chances disappear on the same leg after mechanical troubles relegated him from fourth after stage three, to 37th two stages later.
After losing close to an hour due to a broken rear axle on stage three, another tough day saw the second South African Toyota Hilux of Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie completing the stage in 39th position, eight places behind the Nissan Navara of Johan van Staden and Mike Lawernson.
In the bikes, defending champion Marc Coma scored his first stage win of the this year’s event, edging out overall leader Joan Barreda by 2 min 16 sec, and impressive Chilean Pablo Quintanilla by a further 24 sec. Following a quite start, Slovakian KTM rider Stefan Svitko scored his best finish so far in fourth place ahead of Barreda’s Honda teammate Paulo Goncalves.
With his stage victory, Coma has also reduced Barreda’s overall lead to 10 min 33 sec with Goncalves consolidating his third place ahead Quintanilla and Jordi Viladoms, both of whom moving ahead of Portuguese rider Ruben Faria, who could only manage 15th, two places ahead of South Africa’s Riaan van Niekerk, who remains 15th overall.
Today’s stage sees the remaining 119 bikes, 30 quads, 82 cars and 55 trucks going deeper in the Atacama on route from Antofagasta to the coastal town of Iquique with stage distancing totalling 277 km for the cars and trucks, and 318 km for the bikes and quads.
STAGE 5 - OVERALL STANDINGS (CARS)
|1.||Nasser Al-Attiyah||Mathieu Baumel||QAT / FRA||Mini||16:53:26|
|2.||Giniel de Villiers||Dirk von Zitzewits||RSA / GER||Toyota||+00:10:35|
|3.||Yazeed Alrajhi||Timo Gottschalk||SAU / GER||Toyota||+00:20:29|
|4.||Krzysztof Holowczyc||Xavier Panseri||POL / FRA||Mini||+00:48:55|
|5.||Erik van Loon||Wouter Rosegaar||NLD / NLD||Mini||+00:53:25|
|6.||Bernhard ten Brinke||Tom Colsoul||NLD / BEL||Toyota||+00:56:19|
|7.||Vladimir Vasilyev||Konstantin Zhiltsov||RUS / RUS||Mini||+01:09:52|
|8.||Christian Lavieille||Pascal Maimon||FRA / FRA||Toyota||+01:13:59|
|8.||Stefan Peterhansel||Jean-Paul Cottret||FRA / FRA||Peugeot||+01:19:17|
|10.||Aidyan Rakhimbayev||Anton Nikolaev||KAZ / RUS||Mini||+01:21:32|
STAGE 5 - OVERALL STANDINGS (BIKES)
CAPTION: Dakar 2015 stage five winner Vladimir Vasilyev seen here competing in the Dubai Desert Challenge last year. IMAGE sourced from autosportmiddleeast.com
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