Dakar 2019, Stage 6: Loeb wins, Peterhansel struggles
Sebastien Loeb picked up his third stage win of the 2019 Dakar Rally as the event resumed on Sunday, while Nasser Al-Attiyah extended his advantage at the head of the field.
It was Toyota driver Al-Attiyah that controlled the majority of the 310km Arequipa-San Juan de Marcona test, which was interrupted by a brief neutralised zone, and halfway through he had built a cushion of nearly two minutes over Loeb.
Both drivers then lost time with around 40km remaining looking for a waypoint, but PH Sport Peugeot man Loeb managed to drop less than his rival and as such turned his deficit into a small advantage.
That left the Frenchman to claim his 13th career Dakar stage win by a margin of two minutes and 17 seconds, and promotes him from fifth in the general classification to second.
Despite his late error, Al-Attiyah still came away with an enhanced lead of 37m43s over Loeb, thanks to Stephane Peterhansel's struggles.
Mini Buggy driver Peterhansel gave away 22 minutes to Al-Attiyah prior to the neutralised zone, and while he was able to claw back the gap to as little as 11 minutes he finally ended up giving away 18m49s to Loeb.
As a result, he now sits 41m14s behind Al-Attiyah overall in third.
The best of the Mini 4x4 runners is Nani Roma in fourth, 45m24s off the pace, but his teammate Kuba Przygonski suffered a dreadful stage and shipped almost 90 minutes to the leaders, falling to sixth.
That means Cyril Despres (Mini Buggy) is now up to fifth after a relatively incident-free day, albeit 1h23m off the lead.
Harry Hunt (Peugeot) likewise encountered severe trouble, losing over two-and-a-half hours in the early part of the stage as he tried to help Jesus Calleja, and finally failed to make it to the end of the stage.
Carlos Sainz was third quickest on the stage and is now back up to 11th overall in the third of the Mini Buggies.
Viazovich ends Kamaz streak
MAZ driver Sergey Viazovich ended Kamaz's unbroken run of stage wins in the trucks division on Sunday, overcoming Iveco driver Gerard de Rooy by five minutes and 45 seconds.
Overnight leader Eduard Nikolaev gave away 14 minutes to Viazovich, but continues to lead overall by 10m13s over Kamaz stablemate Dmitri Sotnikov.
De Rooy made small inroads into the huge advantage held by the two Kamaz crews, but trails by 1h50m.
Chaleco Lopez picked up his second stage win of the rally in the SxS class, beating Gerard Farres by 12 minutes.
It's Farres that now leads the class in the general classification after previous leader Rodrigo Moreno dropped in excess of 45 minutes.
Sergey Karyakin is Farres' nearest challenger, 13m31s behind, while Reinaldo Varela has slipped to third overall.
Standings after Stage 6 (Cars class, Top 10):
|1|| Nasser Al-Attiyah |
|8|| Yazeed Al-Rajhi |
|9|| Bernhard ten Brinke |
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