Nasser extends lead, more drama for Giniel in Dakar 2019

Marathon stage shakes up the field as Giniel stops to help his stricken Toyota team-mate Ten Brinke

11 January 2019 - 07:17 By Reuters and Motoring Staff
While his team-mates suffered hardships, Nasser Al-Attiyah continued setting the Dakar pace in the SA-built Toyota Hilux. Picture: REUTERS
While his team-mates suffered hardships, Nasser Al-Attiyah continued setting the Dakar pace in the SA-built Toyota Hilux. Picture: REUTERS

Qatar's Nasser Al-Attiyah extended his Dakar Rally lead on Thursday after winning the fourth stage from Arequipa to Tacna in southern Peru.

The Gazoo Toyota Hilux driver, a two times Dakar winner, completed the 406km special stage with a lead of eight minutes and 55 seconds over 13 times winner Stephane Peterhansel, who was ahead of him on the road in a Mini at the start of the day. Peterhansel finished runner-up in the stage to move up to second place.

"We won the stage, but there is perhaps still a faster car out there. It was very important to catch Stephane and stay with him all the way. I’m quite happy. Everything is okay – there are no problems," said Al-Attiyah.

SA’s Giniel de Villiers, who lost the rally lead on Tuesday, lost more time when he stopped to help Gazoo Toyota team-mate Bernard Ten Brinke who broke down in Thursday’s stage after striking a rock.

De Villiers, who dropped more than four hours on Tuesday with a cracked sump that caused an oil leak, lost a further hour while assisting Ten Brinke yesterday and now lies 30th overall - hopes of winning his second Dakar dashed. Ten Brinke, who had been running seventh, has dropped down to 19th, over three hours behind.

Giniel de Villiers and his navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz stop to assist their stricken Toyota team-mates Bernhard Ten Brinke and Xavier Panseri in the Peruvian desert. Picture: SUPPLIED
Giniel de Villiers and his navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz stop to assist their stricken Toyota team-mates Bernhard Ten Brinke and Xavier Panseri in the Peruvian desert. Picture: SUPPLIED

Saudi Arabia's Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Mini), who had been second overnight, had a difficult day and dropped back down to fifth place with four Minis in the top five.

Thursday's stage was the first part of a marathon leg, with competitors not allowed any external assistance until they return to Arequipa on Friday. 

Nine times world rally champion Sebastien Loeb suffered three punctures and lost 12 minutes to Al-Attiyah, while still moving up to sixth in his privately-entered Peugeot.

Reigning champion Carlos Sainz was 23rd and four hours and 40 minutes off the leader's pace after a nightmare stage on Wednesday.

American Ricky Brabec (left) dices with Chile's Pablo Quintanilla in Peru's dunes. They lie respectively first and second overall in the Dakar 2019 motorcycle category after Thursday's stage. Picture: REUTERS
American Ricky Brabec (left) dices with Chile's Pablo Quintanilla in Peru's dunes. They lie respectively first and second overall in the Dakar 2019 motorcycle category after Thursday's stage. Picture: REUTERS

In the motorcycle category, American Ricky Brabec led the field with a two minute, 19 second advantage over Chilean Pablo Quintanilla, the overnight leader.

Australian Toby Price was in third place and ahead of British KTM team mate Sam Sunderland. SA’s Kenneth Gilbert on a Husqvarna is in 27th place overall.

The endurance rally, staged in South America since it was switched from Africa in 2009 for security reasons, ends in Lima on January 17.

STAGE 4 RESULTS (CARS):

  1. Al Attiyah / Baumel (TOYOTA HILUX)
  2. Peterhansel / Castera (MINI)                       +01:52
  3. Przygonski / Colsoul (MINI)                         +08:32
  4. Roma / Haro (MINI)                                     +08:49
  5. Loeb / Elena (Peugeot)                               +12:23
  6. Al Rajhi / Gottschalk (MINI)                         +18:11
  7. Sainz / Cruz (MINI)                                      +24:44
  8. Despres / Cottret (MINI)                              +25:51
  9. Garafulic / Palmeiro (MINI)                         +32:33
  10. Hunt / Rosegaar (Peugeot)                         +37:58                                   

OVERALL CAR STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 4:

  1. Al Attiyah / Baumel (TOYOTA HILUX)
  2. Peterhansel / Castera (MINI)                    +08:55
  3. Roma / Haro (MINI)                                    +20:51
  4. Przygonski / Colsoul (MINI)                       +22:17
  5. Al Rajhi / Gottschalk (MINI)                       +24:59
  6. Loeb / Elena (Peugeot)                              +50:22
  7. Despres / Cottret (MINI)                             +50:31
  8. Domzala / Marton (TOYOTA)                     +01:28:37
  9. Garafulic / Palmeiro (MINI)                         +01:36:52
  10. Hunt / Rosegaar (Peugeot)                        +01:37:37

 

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