Friday, January 16, 2015

No Changes After Penultimate Stage of 2015 Dakar Rally

All four class leaders held serve in the penultimate stage of the 2015 Dakar Rally while all four stage winners were repeats.

Orlando Terranova won his fourth stage of this year's rally and Mini's 11th stage victory with Yazeed Al-Rahji's stage eight victory for Toyota being the lone blemish. A half-minute behind Terranova was Vladimir Vasilyev with Emiliano Spataro bookending the podium for Argentina, a minute and 29 seconds behind his fellow countryman. Nasser Al-Attiyah finished fourth as the Qatari is clearly on his way to his second Dakar victory. Al-Attiyah finished eight seconds off the podium. Bernhard Ten Brinke finished fifth, a minute and 50 seconds back. 

Carlos Sousa finished two seconds behind Ten Brinke. Stéphane Peterhansel finished seventh, four minutes and four seconds back. Krzysztof Holowczyc finished 35 seconds off the Frenchman in eighth. Robby Gordon finished ninth, five minutes and 20 seconds off Terranova with Kazakhstan's Aidyn Rakhimbayev rounding out the top ten, six minutes and 15 seconds back. 

Giniel de Villiers finished 12th, eight minutes and 15 seconds back. 

Al-Attiyah leads de Villiers by 35 minutes and 39 seconds entering the final day of the Dakar. Holowczyc is third, an hour and 31 minutes back. Erik Van Loon is fourth, trailing by three hours and minute with Vladimir Vasilyev just under 11 minutes behind Van Loon. 

Peterhansel is five hours and 18 minutes back in 11th. Terranova and Gordon remain 18th and 19th, both trailing by over seven hours. 

Toby Price won his first stage of the 2015 Dakar Rally as the Australian KTM rider defeated Joan Barreda by a minute and 55 seconds. Paulo Gonçalves rounded out the podium, three minutes and two seconds back. Slovakians Ivan Jakes and Stefan Svitko finished fourth and fifth with Jakes finishing six seconds off the podium and Svitko finishing five minutes and a seconds back of Price.

Class leader Marc Coma finished six minutes and 25 seconds back in sixth. Hélder Rodrigues finished seventh, eight minutes and 40 seconds back with Pablo Quintanilla coming home in eighth, ten minutes and seven seconds behind Price. 

Coma holds a 17-minute and 49-second lead over Gonçalves and Price trails by 25 minutes and 18 seconds after his stage victory. Quintanilla is fourth, trailing by 36 minutes and 57 seconds and Svitko rounds out the top five, 46 minutes and 43 seconds back and the final rider within an hour of Coma. 

Christophe Declerck won his second consecutive stage in the quad class. The Frenchman won by seven minutes and nine seconds over Nelson Augusto Sanabria Galeano. Walter Nosiglia finished third, nine minutes and 31 seconds back with Rafał Sonik finishing fourth, ten minutes and five seconds off Declerck. Willem Saaijman finished 22 seconds off the Pole with Argentine Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli finishing sixth, 12 minutes and 21 seconds back. 

Sonik enters the final stage with a near insurmountable two hour and 52 minute lead over Gonzalez Ferioli. Nosiglia is three hours and 41 minutes back in third. Sangria Galeano is fourth, trailing by four hours and 13 minutes with Declerck in fifth, just under six hours behind Sonik. 

Like Declerck, Hans Stacey won his second consecutive stage in the truck class as Friday featured a Dutch 1-2-3. Marcel Van Vliet finished 18 seconds back in second with Gérard de Rooy finishing 28 seconds off his Iveco teammate. Dmitry Sotnikov finished fourth, a minute and nine seconds back with class leader Airat Mardeev finishing six seconds off his fellow Russian in fifth. 

Andrey Karginov finished 56 seconds back of Mardeev in sixth with Eduard Nikolaev finishing 8th, two minutes and 47 seconds back. 

Mardeev leads Nikolaev by 12 minutes and 43 seconds with Karginov 48 minutes and 40 seconds back in third. Aleš Loprais remains fourth after finishing outside the top twenty on the stage. The Czech driver trails by an hour and 45 minutes. Sotnikov is two hours and 24 minutes back in fifth with Stacey just over seven minutes back in sixth.

The final stage of the 2015 Dakar Rally heads from Rosario to Buenos Aires.