Friday, January 8, 2016

Peterhansel Takes Dakar Lead, Loeb Drops to Second

The sixth stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally saw three lead changes in the overall classifications in three classes and one competitor scored his first stage victory of this year's race.

Stéphane Peterhansel won the car class, his second stage victory, by seventeen seconds over Peugeot teammate Carlos Sainz. Saudi driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi finished seven minutes and 19 seconds back in third. Sébastien Loeb failed to finish in the top three of a stage for the first time since the prologue as the nine-time World Rally champion finished eight minutes and 15 seconds back of Peterhansel. Nasser Al-Attiyah finished fifth, 36 seconds behind Loeb. Nani Roma was sixth, 11 minutes and a second back. Orlando Terranova finished two minutes and five seconds back of Roma and Mikko Hirvonen was a minute and nine seconds behind Terranova. Giniel de Villiers finished ninth, 59 seconds behind Hirvonen. Erik Van Loon and Cyril Despres finished tied for tenth, 16 minutes and 45 seconds back of Peterhansel.

Peterhansel has taken a 27-second lead over Loeb in the overall standings. Sainz is five minutes and 55 seconds back of Peterhansel, third overall. Al-Attiyah is fourth, over 15 minutes back. De Villiers and Hirvonen trail Peterhansel by 29 minutes and 21 seconds and 29 minutes and 51 seconds respectively. Leeroy Poulter is over 34 minutes back in seventh. Al-Rajhi is eighth, over 37 minutes back. Vladimir Vasilyev is ninth, 42 minutes back and Emiliano Spataro is tenth, 57 minutes back.

The Americans Sheldon Creed and Robby Gordon finished 37th and 50th on the day. Creed is 29th overall and Gordon is 32nd overall. Both are over three hours behind Peterhansel.

Toby Price won in the bike class for the second consecutive day. The Australian finished a minute and five seconds ahead of fellow KTM rider Matthias Walkner. Class leader Paulo Gonçalves finished third, a minute and 12 seconds behind Price. Štefan Svitko finished fourth, four minutes and 44 seconds behind Price and Hélder Rodrigues rounded out the top five, five minutes and 23 seconds back. Husqvarna riders Pablo Quintanilla and Txomin Arana finished sixth and seventh, with seven seconds separating the riders. Ricky Brabec finished eighth, eight minutes and 16 seconds behind Price. Italian Alessandro Botturi finished a minute and three seconds behind Brabec and Jordi Viladoms was tenth, 11 minutes and nine seconds behind Price.

Gonçalves keeps his overall lead but only leads Price by 35 seconds. Walkner is two minutes and 50 seconds back. Svikto trails by five minutes and 17 seconds with Quintanilla nearly ten minutes behind the Slovakian. Rodrigues is over 20 minutes behind his fellow countryman. Kevin Benavides is over 21 minutes back in seventh. French riders Antoine Meo and Alain Duclos are eight and ninth and Juan Pedrero is tenth.

Brabec is 14th with Ian Blythe in 36th, Alexander Smith in 50th and Scott Bright in 50th.

Marcos Patronelli won his second stage in the quad class. The Argentine rider finished six minutes and 39 seconds ahead of his brother Alejandro. Brian Baragwanath finished third, eight minutes and 21 seconds back. Sergei Karyakin finished nearly ten minutes behind Baragwanath and Jeremias González was fifth, over three minutes behind Karyakin.

Alejandro Patronelli took the overall lead in the quad class as Alexis Hernandez finished eighth on stage six. Alejandro leads his brother by two minutes and 48 seconds. Karyakin is five minutes and 39 seconds back. Hernandez dropped to fourth, trailing the Argentine by 21 minutes and a second back. González is fifth, just under 25 minutes back of his fellow countryman.

Hans Stacey won his first stage in the truck class and retook the truck class lead overall. The Dutchman finished seven seconds ahead of Gerard de Rooy. Pieter Versluis made it a Dutch sweep of the top three, finishing a minute and 15 seconds behind Stacey. Eduard Nikolaev was fourth, two minutes and 11 second back with Dmitry Sotnikov ten seconds back of Nikolaev.

Stacey leads Versluis by 59 seconds. Federico Villagra dropped from the lead to third, four minutes and five seconds back of Stacey after finishing ninth on stage six. De Rooy trails Stacey by five minutes and 36 seconds and Airat Mardeev is fifth, 12 minutes and six seconds behind Stacey after the Russian finished eighth in stage six.

Stage seven brings the teams back to Argentina. All four classes head to Salta.