Er­rors by con­tenders change run­ning or­der in Dakar Rally

Whanganui Chronicle - - Family Notices | Local Classifieds -

Se­bastien Loeb cap­i­talised on an er­ror by Dakar Rally leader Nasser Al-At­tiyah to win a sec­ond straight stage and rise to sec­ond over­all.

Al-At­tiyah led the sixth stage from Are­quipa to San Juan de Mar­cona un­til about 15km from the fin­ish when he drove into the wrong val­ley look­ing for a way­point.

Loeb, two min­utes be­hind the Qatari, moved two min­utes ahead and held on to win his third stage.

He passed the spot where he crashed out of the race last year, when he was ly­ing sec­ond over­all.

“It was a tricky stage,” Loeb said. “We dodged the bul­let.”

Al-At­tiyah was sec­ond, 2m 17s be­hind, but re­mained the leader with a nearly 38-minute mar­gin.

“It’s not really that com­fort­able, but it’s good to have this very dif­fi­cult stage be­hind us,” Al-At­tiyah said.

Loeb, the nine-time world rally cham­pion try­ing to win the Dakar at his fourth at­tempt, leapt over record seven-time cham­pion Stephane Peter­hansel.

Peter­hansel, who started the sec­ond half of the rally sec­ond over­all at 24 min­utes be­hind Al-At­tiyah, went to help Nani Roma early but got stuck in a sand basin and lost 20 min­utes.

With bril­liant driv­ing he lim­ited the dam­age to 12 min­utes un­til he ran into trou­ble near the fin­ish, and ended up nearly 19 min­utes be­hind the stage win­ner. He’s 41 min­utes be­hind over­all.

“Vic­tory’s slip­ping away after too many mis­takes,” Peter­hansel said.

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