Errors by contenders change running order in Dakar Rally
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.