Thursday, January 7, 2016

Loeb Wins Stage Five, New Quad Class Leader

Stage five of the Dakar Rally saw two classes remain the same with two classes featuring changes at the top of the classifications.

Sébastien Loeb won his third stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally. The Frenchman defeated fellow Peugeot driver Carlos Sainz by 22 seconds. Stage four winner Stéphane Peterhansel finished third on stage five, three minutes behind Loeb. Nasser Al-Attiyah finished fourth, seven seconds off the podium. Leeroy Poulter finished three minutes behind Al-Attiyah and rounded out the top five.

Mikko Hirvonen finished sixth, seven minutes and 42 seconds back of Loeb. Giniel de Villiers was seventh, eight minutes and 36 seconds back. Robby Gordon was eighth on the day, nine minutes and 20 seconds back. Bernhard ten Brinke finished fifteen seconds behind Gordon and Orlando Terranova rounded out the top ten on the stage. The Argentine was ten minutes and 15 seconds back of Loeb. Nani Roma was 18 seconds outside the top ten.

Loeb extended his overall lead in the car class to seven minutes and 48 seconds over Peterhansel. Sainz is 13 minutes and 26 seconds back in third. Al-Attiyah is 50 seconds behind Sainz and is the top non-Peugeot competitor. Poulter rounds out the top five, 18 minutes and 38 seconds back. De Villiers follows his fellow South African in the classifications with Hirvonen seventh. Ten Brinke, Vladimir Vasilyev and Yazeed Al-Rajhi round out the top ten. Vasilyev and Al-Rajhi finished 13th and 16th respectively on stage five.

Robby Gordon jumped up to 24th overall, an hour and 48 minutes back. Sheldon Creed is 28th; two hours and two minutes back after finishing 32nd on stage five.

Toby Price won his second stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally. The Australian defeated Antoine Meo by two minutes and 21 seconds. Štefan Svitko was third, 12 seconds behind Meo. Matthias Walkner finished seven seconds off the podium in fourth. Joan Barreda was fifth on the day, five minutes and 57 seconds back. Pablo Quintanilla finished sixth, six minutes and 51 seconds back of Price. Ivan Jakes was seventh; seven minutes and 19 seconds back with Hélder Rodrigues a second behind Jakes and Juan Pedrero finishing 17 seconds behind the Slovakian Jakes. Alain Duclos rounded out the top ten, 58 seconds behind Pedrero.

Paulo Gonçalves finished 12th on stage five but retained his class lead. The Portuguese rider is a minute and 45 seconds ahead of Svitko and Price is two seconds back of Svitko. Barreda is two minutes and 27 seconds behind Gonçalves. Walkner is fifth, two minutes and 57 seconds back. Argentine Kevin Benavides finished 16th on the stage but remains sixth overall, six minutes and 46 seconds back. Meo is three seconds behind Benavides. Ruben Faria finished 11th on the day but is still eighth and is trails his countryman by eight minutes and 13 seconds. Quintanilla is eight minutes and 30 seconds back in ninth and Duclos is tenth, 13 minutes and 39 seconds behind Gonçalves.

Ricky Brabec is 19th overall; 26 minutes and 42 seconds back after finishing 24th on stage five. Ian Blythe remains the second-best American, 42nd and an hour and 12 minutes back. Alexander Smith is 59th, two hours and 21 minutes back. Scott Bright and Carroll Gittere are 67th and 91st respectively, both over two and a half hours behind Gonçalves.

There is a new leader in the quad class after Alexis Hernandez won the stage and Ignacio Casale suffered engine problems. The Peruvian won the stage by a minute and 57 seconds over stage three winner Brian Baragawanath. Alejandro Patronelli finished third, twenty seconds behind Baragawanath. Russian Sergei Karyakin finished two minutes and 50 seconds back in fourth and the Dutchman Kees Koolen was fifth, three minutes and 20 seconds behind Hernandez.

Hernandez took over the overall lead with his victory. The Peruvian is 48 seconds ahead of Alejandro Patronelli. Karyakin is third, eight minutes and 35 seconds back. Marcos Patronelli moves up to fourth, ten minutes and 15 seconds behind Hernandez. He finished eighth on the stage. Jeremias González is fifth, 11 minutes and nine seconds back. González was seventh on stage five. Casale dropped to 14th, an hour and four seconds behind Hernandez.

Eduard Nikolaev picked up his first victory of this year's Dakar in the truck class. The Russian finished two minutes and 32 seconds ahead of Martin Kolomy. Federico Villagra finished third, four minutes and 32 seconds behind Nikolaev. Dutch driver Ton Van Genugten finished fourth, with the same time as Villagra. Rounding out the top five was Airat Mardeev, five minutes and 58 seconds behind Nikolaev.

Villagra took the truck class lead by five seconds over Pieter Versluis, who finished sixth on the day. Hans Stacey was seventh on stage five and is now third, 21 seconds behind Villagra. Gerard de Rooy is five minutes and 50 seconds back after finishing eighth on stage five. Mardeev is fifth overall, eight minutes and 49 seconds back.

Stage six will be a lap around Bolivia with the teams starting and ending in Uyuni.