Vettel, Alonso: Why F1 pilots scorn risk

Formula 1 drivers, ahead of the first Russian GP, have answered as a consequence to the crash-marred Japanese GP questions about race safety.

Bianchi crash casts pall over Sochi

The paddock at the Sochi Autodrom is not a happy place. Drivers' thoughts, reports ALAN BALDWIN, are more on fellow driver Jules Bianchi's condition than Friday's practice sessions.

SA riders cling to top 20

2013-01-10 12:20

SA'S DAKAR HOPEFUL: Riaan van Niekerk powers his KTM through stage 6 of the Dakar Rally. He's 17th overall.

  Video

Stephane Peterhansel remains in the lead while SA's Giniel de Villiers holds on to third place overall in the Dakar 2013. Check out highlights from Stage 5!

kalahari.com

 
ARICA, Chile - South Africans Darryl Curtis and Riaan van Niekerk, racing for KTM, are still in the top 20 as the Dakar 2013 enters Day 6 of its 8500km, 15-day journey from Lima, Peru to Santiago, Chile.

Curtis, competing in his second Dakar after finishing 22nd in 2012, finished 24th on the 136km special stage five from Arequipa to Arica in Peru. Curtis is 15th overall in the general classification for bikes.

Niekerk continues to enjoy an impressive Dakar debut and is currently 17th overall, two minutes behind his team mate. He completed stage five 19th, three minutes ahead of Curtis.

'FESH-FESH' TAKES ITS TOLL

Curtis said: “Today (January 10 2013) was our last day in Peru before crossing into Chile. A short special stage that didn’t go so well for me. I had another slow crash in the fesh-fesh (powdery sand) that’s like a magnet to me. That stuff goes everywhere, in your goggles and everywhere else, and makes you very uncomfortable. Later on my stand spring broke so I had to stop and try to make a plan with cable ties.

"Tomorrow is a big test for us, the longest special stage of the rally so far. We’re both quite comfortable at the moment. We’re just taking it day by day and, with a bit of luck, we can hold our positions or improve them by the time we reach the finish in Santiago."

The stage was won by David Casteu (Yamaha) in 1hr39min42 ahead of Olivier Pain (Yamaha) and Juan Pedrero (KTM).

Pain holds the overall lead from Casteu with an advantage of 1min15. Defending champion Cyril Despres (KTM) is third overall.

DESERT RACING

Niekerk commented: “It was a bit easier today on what was quite a short stage. The fesh-fesh is very difficult to ride in. It’s like a thick dust that makes it impossible to see where you’re going. It’s dangerous, because it can hide rocks and other obstacles that can cause you to fall.”

Stage 6 from Arica to Calama is a 313km liaison stage and a 454km special – the first special stage in Chile.

The stage is split into two parts, with a 97km neutralisation section after 229km. It reaches 3000m above sea level before dropping back to 2400m at the finish.

NEXT ON WHEELS24X

Read Wheels24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside Wheels24

THE FALL COLUMN

'Hey! Where did all my petrol go?'

Are automakers taking car owners for a ride? And are fuel consumption figures just for laughs? DAVE FALL finds out if we're all just being misled?

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.