Dakar 2020, Stage 11: Sainz's lead reduced ahead of finale

Stephane Peterhansel set the pace in the penultimate stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally, but X-raid Mini stablemate Carlos Sainz retains a healthy if reduced lead ahead of the marathon's finale.

Sainz had to open the road in the 379km timed special within the stage taking the competition back to Haradh from Shubaytah.

He consequently gave up nearly five minutes to Peterhansel in the first 100 kilometres as he navigated the dunes of the Rub' Al Khali, but would limit the damage over the rest of the special, ending up eight minutes slower than the stage winner at the finish.

This will still allow Sainz to have 10 minutes in hand for the final 374km Haradh - Qiddiya test on Sunday.

Peterhansel looked set to overtake Toyota driver Nasser Al-Attiyah for second place for much of the stage, but a late charge from the reigning champion saw him come up just 10 seconds short of a stage win.

This means that that Al-Attiyah will enter the marathon finale as Sainz's nearest rival and with a six-second gap to Peterhansel, who will be running ahead on the road.

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Local driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi is poised to finish a career-best fourth in his Toyota after a seemingly straightforward stage, whereas his long-time fifth-place counterpart Orlando Terranova has dropped down the order.

Mini driver Terranova was over half an hour off the pace, and has been overtaken by the two Toyotas of Giniel de Villiers and Bernhard ten Brinke in the general classification.

He is now on course to finish seventh ahead of Century buggy driver Mathieu Serradori.

Toyota driver Yasir Seaidan lost over an hour in the stage but still clings on to ninth place, albeit by just nine seconds.

Pierre Lachaume, who entered the day in 10th place in the PH Sport-run privateer Peugeot, crashed out less than 100 kilometres from the end of the stage and exited the rally.

Fernando Alonso was placed 113th in the joint running order for cars, trucks and SxS after his roll on Thursday, and completed the stage eighth-fastest.

He will go into the final stage in 13th place overall, over 40 minutes behind 12th-placed Martin Prokop.

General classification (top 10):

Pos. # Driver / Co-driver Car Time Gap
1 305

Spain Carlos Sainz

Spain Lucas Cruz

Mini 41h37m51s  
2 300

Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah

France Mathieu Baumel

Toyota 41h48m08s 10m17s
3 302 France Stephane Peterhansel
Portugal Paulo Fiuza
Mini 41h48m14s 10m23s
4 309

Saudi Arabia Yazeed Al-Rajhi

Russian Federation Konstantin Zhiltsov

Toyota 42h25m48s 47m57s
5 304

South Africa Giniel de Villiers

Spain Alex Haro

Toyota 42h44m25s 1h6m34s
6 307

Netherlands Bernhard ten Brinke

Belgium Tom Colsoul

Toyota 42h55m41s 1h17m50s
7 311

Argentina Orlando Terranova

Argentina Bernardo Graue

Mini 43h4m35s 1h26m44s
8 315

France Mathieu Serradori

Belgium Fabian Lurquin

Century 43h30m23s 1h52m32s
9 324

Saudi Arabia Yasir Seaidan

Russian Federation Alexy Kuzmich

Mini 45h22m32s 3h44m41s
10 322

China Wei Han

China Min Liao

Hanwei 45h22m58s 3h45m07s

Trucks: Kamaz keeps dominating

Dakar 2020 champion-elect Andrey Karginov picked up his sixth stage win of the event, leading a Kamaz 1-2-3-4 on the day.

Karginov is nearly 39 minutes ahead of stablemate Anton Shibalov with one stage left to run.

Maz driver Siarhei Viazovich is increasingly secure in third place overall, with Dmitry Sotnikov of Kamaz inheriting fourth after problems for Ales Loprais.

SxS: Lopez's searing pace not enough

Reigning class champion Francisco Lopez was considerably quicker than his fellow SxS competitors through the 11th stage, as he beat nearest rival Aron Domzala by 11 minutes.

However, while Lopez could yet challenge Sergey Karyakin - who is now just three minutes ahead - for a second-place finish, leader Casey Currie will enter Friday as the overwhelming favourite for the overall crown.

While he went through the stage 17 minutes slower than Lopez, Currie will still have an advantage of three quarters of an hour for the final 347km of competition.

Dakar 2020, Stage 11: Quintanilla cuts into Brabec's lead
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Dakar's final stage shortened to 166km

Dakar's final stage shortened to 166km