DAKAR RALLY 2019

Loeb wins Dakar stage 6, Nasser retains overall lead

Toyota Hilux driver now has handy 37 min lead with four stages remaining

14 January 2019 - 07:31 By Reuters and Motoring Staff
Former multiple world rally champion Sebastien Loeb won the 6th stage of Dakar 2019 to move into second position overall. Picture: SUPPLIED
Former multiple world rally champion Sebastien Loeb won the 6th stage of Dakar 2019 to move into second position overall. Picture: SUPPLIED

Sebastien Loeb took his second successive stage win of the Dakar Rally in Peru on Sunday but Qatar's Nasser Al-Attiyah stretched his overall lead to more than 37 minutes.

Frenchman Loeb moved up from fifth to second overall with his third stage win of the event in a privately-entered Peugeot, pushing compatriot and 13-times Dakar winner Stephane Peterhansel down to third.

Loeb, a nine-times world rally champion who has yet to win the Dakar in three previous attempts, crashed out last year on the same stretch of terrain but he said he had "dodged the bullet" this time.

Peterhansel, in a Mini Buggy, lost 18 minutes and 49 seconds to Loeb in the 310km sandy sixth stage from the city of Arequipa to San Juan de Marcona on Sunday, and is 41 minutes adrift of Toyota driver Al-Attiyah.

Qatar's Nasser Al Attiyah in the SA-built Toyota Hilux maintained his health lead after finishing a close second in stage 6. Picture: SUPPLIED
Qatar's Nasser Al Attiyah in the SA-built Toyota Hilux maintained his health lead after finishing a close second in stage 6. Picture: SUPPLIED

"I saw (Spaniard) Nani (Roma) stuck five kilometres from the finish. He didn't signal for help, but after he helped me out two days ago, I felt it was my duty to rush to his aid," said Peterhansel. "As a result, I got stuck in a sand basin and lost 20 minutes. It wasn't a mistake, it was a real blunder. Victory's slipping away after too many mistakes."

It was asolid stage for SA's Giniel de Villiers, partnered with German navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz, who set the 8th-fastest time on the day. The Toyota Hilux crew were running in fourth position for most of the stage, but lost time due to tricky navigation near the end of the test.

The same can be said for team-mates Bernhard ten Brinke and Xavier Panseri, who spent most of the stage in third position. They, too, lost some time near the end of the stage, going ninth-fastest and moving into 9th position in the overall standings. De Villiers also broke back into the Top 20, and is now in 18th position.

Chilean rider Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) took the lead in the motorcycle standings from American Ricky Brabec (Honda), now four and a half minutes behind, after winning the stage. SA's Kenny Gilbert (Husqvarna) lies 23rd.

The rally, which switched from Africa to South America in 2009 for security reasons and is now held entirely in Peru, finishes in Lima on Thursday.

STAGE 6 RESULTS (CARS):

1. Loeb / Elena (Peugeot)

2. Al Attiyah / Baumel (TOYOTA) +02:17

3. Sainz / Cruz (MINI) +06:56

4. Despres / Cottret (MINI) +13:05

5. Roma / Haro (MINI) +13:08

6. Peterhansel / Castera (MINI) +18:49

7. Prokop / Tomanek (Ford) +19:22

8. De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz (TOYOTA) +23:29

9. Ten Brinke / Panseri (TOYOTA) +27:29

10. Henrard / Du Bois (Henrard) +01:00:34

 

OVERALL CAR STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 6:

1. Al Attiyah / Baumel (TOYOTA)

2. Loeb / Elena (Peugeot) +37:43

3. Peterhansel / Castera (MINI) +41:14

4. Roma / Haro (MINI) +45:24

5. Despres / Cottret (MINI) +01:19:09

6. Przygonski / Colsoul (MINI) +02:03:10

7. Prokop / Tomanek (Ford) +02:31:02

8. Al Rajhi / Gottschalk (MINI) +04:01:19

9. Ten Brinke / Panseri (TOYOTA) +04:18:44

10. Vanagas / Rozwadowski (TOYOTA) +05:06:50

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