Dakar Stage 5: Loeb leads Peugeot to second consecutive top three lockout
Dakar rookie and overall event leader Sebastien Loeb continued Peugeot’s dominance of this year’s event, by leading home teammates Carlos Sainz and Stephane Peterhansel in a second 1-2-3 finish during yesterday’s marathon 327 km special from Jujuy in Argentina, to Uyuni in Bolivia.
Having taken victory in the opening two stages of the event, Loeb bounced back from finishing second on the previous stage to take victory by a slender 22 secs from 2010 winner Sainz, with 11-times victor Peterhansel finishing three minutes behind.
Defending Nasser Al-Attiyah again struggled to match the pace of the two-wheel drive Peugeot buggies, completing the stage three min and seven secs behind Loeb in fourth, with Leeroy Poulter again outshining illustrates teammate Giniel de Villiers by crossing the line fifth in the leading South African entered Gazoo Team SA Toyota Hilux.
Hamstrung by the high altitude sapping the normally aspirated Toyotas of power compared to the turbocharged Minis and Peugeots, de Villiers again experienced a day to forget with the Stellenbosch native crossing the line seventh, eight min 36 secs behind Loeb, and over a minute away from the fourth placed Mini of Mikko Hirvonen.
In the overall standings, Loeb’s victory sees him extending his lead over Peterhansel to seven minutes 48 secs, with Sainz moving from fifth to third albeit six minutes back.
A one-minute penalty for speeding has seen Al-Attiyah drop to fourth with Poulter slipping back to fifth a mere two minutes in front of de Villiers.
Hirvonen’s fourth place sees him keeping station in seventh overall, seven minutes ahead Dutchman Bernhard ten Brinke, while Vladimir Vasilyev benefitted from mechanical troubles that befell the fourth works Peugeot of Cyril Despores, to end the day ninth four minutes ahead of Yazeed Alrajhi in the third Gazoo Team SA Hilux.
Further down the field, Sean Reitz / Riaan Greyling achieved their best showing of the event so far by clocking the 39th fastest time in their Red Line Racing Nissan Navara, 20 and 21 places ahead of the Century CR5 buggies of Colin Matthews / Rodney Burke and Mark Corbett / Juan Mohr respectively.
The result has seen the pair jumping up to 51st in the overall standings with Corbett / Mohr a further 20 places up the road and Matthews / Burke down in 41st place.
In the motorcycle section, former overall leader Toby Price recovered from losing over five minutes two stages ago, to lead a KTM lockout of the top three places.
With navigation again proving to be a key factor, Australian Price eventually crossed the line in Uyuni two min 33 secs ahead of Slovakian Stefan Svitko, with Austrian Matthias Walkner and Honda’s Juan Barreda rounding out the top four.
Despite losing nearly nine minutes and only clocking the 12th fastest time, Barreda’s Honda teammate Paulo Goncalves remains at the head of the event, now a scant one minute 45 secs in front of former leader Svitko.
Price’s win sees him moving up to third ahead of Barreda and Walkner, with Kevin Benavides dropping from second to sixth, two minutes in front of Husqvarna teammates Ruben Faria and Pablo Quintanilla. Dakar newcomer Antoine Meo endured a difficult stage to place ninth overall ahead of Sherco rider Alain Duclos.
Today’s marathon stage will see competitors tackle the longest of the event so far, a 542 km loop around the bivouac in Uyuni.
STAGE 5 - OVERALL STANDINGS (CARS)
|1.||Sebastien Loeb||Daniel Elena||FRA / MON||Peugeot||13:17:25|
|2.||Stephane Peterhansel||Jean-Paul Cottret||FRA / FRA||Peugeot||+00:07:48|
|3.||Carlos Sainz||Lucas Cruz||ESP / ESP||Peugeot||+00:13:26|
|4.||Nasser Al-Attiyah||Matthieu Baumel||QAT / FRA||Mini||+00:14:16|
|5.||Leeroy Poulter||Rob Howie||RSA / RSA||Toyota||+00:18:38|
|6.||Giniel de Villiers||Dirk von Zitzewitz||RSA / GER||Toyota||+00:21:55|
|7.||Mikko Hirvonen||Michel Perin||FIN / FRA||Mini||+00:23:24|
|8.||Bernhard ten Brinke||Tom Colsoul||NLD / NLD||Toyota||+00:31:00|
|9.||Vladimir Vasilyev||Konstantin Zhiltsov||RUS / RUS||Toyota||+00:33:27|
|10.||Yazeed Alrajhi||Timo Gottschalk||SAU / GER||Toyota||+00:37:43|
STAGE 5 - OVERALL STANDINGS (BIKES)
IMAGE sourced from dakar.com
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