Al-At­tiyah stretches lead

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - Sport -

Two-time cham­pion Nasser al-At­tiyah ex­tended his lead in the Dakar Rally on Thurs­day, win­ning the fourth stage be­tween Are­quipa and Tacna.

Qatari driver al-At­tiyah, the 2011 and 2015 cham­pion, had al­ready won the first stage of this year’s event on Mon­day be­hind the wheel of his Toy­ota.

On Thurs­day, he edged out 13-time cham­pion Stephane Peter­hansel, in a Mini, by 1min 52sec and Jakub Przy­gon­ski, also in a Mini, by 8min 49sec.

Over­all, al-At­tiyah leads Peter­hansel by 8min 55sec ahead of the fifth stage be­tween Tacna and Are­quipa.

“I’m pretty happy. I won the stage and it was very im­por­tant to stay close to Stephane Peter­hansel as there is still a long way to go be­fore the end,” alAt­tiyah said.

Mean­while, nine-time world rally cham­pion Se­bastien Loeb, who won the sec­ond stage on Tues­day, suf­fered three punc­tures and fin­ished 12min 23sec be­hind alAt­tiyah. The French­man, driv­ing a pri­vate-en­try Peu­geot, is sixth over­all, more than 50 min­utes be­hind the Qatari.

“It was a very com­pli­cated stage and it’s a shame be­cause the rhythm was very good,” he said.

In the mo­tor­cy­cling race, Amer­ica’s Ricky Brabec took the stage and top spot in the over­all stand­ings on his Honda, fin­ish­ing 6min 19sec ahead of Aus­tria’s Matthias Walkner and 7min 7sec in front of Aus­tralia’s Toby Price. Over­all, the Cal­i­for­nian en­joys a 2min 19sec ad­van­tage over pre­vi­ous leader Pablo Quin­tanilla of Chile, while he has a 4min 22sec edge on Price.

Thurs­day’s win for Brabec was par­tic­u­larly up­lift­ing as he had got lost on Wed­nes­day’s third stage.

“I needed it. Yes­ter­day was tough on me and I lost a lot of time,” he said.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Walkner fears his race may be over after suf­fer­ing a nasty fall on the stage.

“Fifty kilo­me­tres be­fore the end I did a big jump and landed heav­ily. First I was think­ing, OK, maybe it’s bro­ken. It’s re­ally painful now,” the Aus­trian said. – AFP

Pho­to­graph: GETTY IM­AGES

FORG­ING AHEAD: Nasser al-At­tiyah of Qatar and Matthieu Baumel of France tackle stage four in their Toy­ota Hilux in the 2019 Dakar Rally from Are­quipa to Mo­quegua on Thurs­day

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.