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Dakar: Peterhansel scorns orders

2014-01-18 07:53

HOLDING THEIR OWN: Toyota SA's Giniel de Villiers of and co-driver Dirk Von Zitzewitz on their way to fourth place on Stage 12 of the 2014 Dakar Rally between El Salvador and La Serena in Chile on January 17. Image: AFP

LA SERENA, Chile - Stephane Peterhansel snatched the lead on the 2014 Dakar Rally's penultimate stage on Friday, just 24 hours after his Mini team had ordered him to abandon his challenge.

For which the team, universally scorned for their "unsportsmanlike" behaviour in the world's toughest off-road race, should be grateful as his bold move restored honour to the gutsy little cars.

The French driver, who has six career wins in the motorcycling section of the gruelling marathon and five on four wheels, now looks certain to claim Stage 12 today (Jan 18) - the final stage. Overnight leader Nani Roma had a 5min02 advantage over his Mini team mate Peterhansel going into Stage 12 from El Salvador to La Serena in Chile.


And, with Qatar's Nasser al-Attiyah third, Mini ordered all three drivers to hold their positions on Friday to guarantee a team podium sweep but Roma lost pace throughout the day after suffering a puncture, leaving Peterhansel with a 26sec overall lead going into Saturday's final 157km timed run into Valparaiso.

South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers (Toyota Hilux) finished the stage fourth and held on to his fourth place overall, but more than an hour behind the third Mini so unlikely to have any effect on the final result on Sunday.

"It was a bizarre stage," said Peterhansel. "I even did a U-turn to ask Nani if he wanted to go in front in the dunes, but he didn't want to. The strategy hasn't changed. The instructions will perhaps be reissued tonight and we will listen to them."

Roma said his Mini had suffered a puncture after just 20km of the 350km stage. The Spaniard then added to the mystery of who knew what when he said he wasn't aware of any team orders.


"I said last night that I hadn't received the instructions and you saw that today," he explained. The race is still open and we will see what happens on Saturday."

Race organisers had said Thursday they were "disappointed" and "shocked" by Mini's team orders. race director Etienne Lavigne said: "We haven't been informed of this decision by the team manager of Mini but we are disappointed, clearly, because it is not in the spirit of the competition.

“It's a little shocking. It's not fair. If I were to be mean, I would say to Mini that they can collect the trophy immediately. Fighting without risk is triumph without glory."


In the motorcycling event on Friday five-times champion Cyril Despres (Yamaha) took his second stage of the 2014 race with Spain's overall leader Marc Coma (KTM) second.

Coma has an overall lead of almost two hours on compatriot Jordi Viladoms (another KTM. Coma said: "Today was a very long stage, 350km. That means tough, difficult and not easy for navigating. From the past we know that normally this stage is decisive.

"For tomorrow (Saturday) there is still 150km to go and that is a lot. It's like I'm fighting for myself to be focused."

Bookmark Wheels24's special Dakar Rally section to keep up with event news and results.

Dakar Rally results on Friday after the 12th and penultimate stage (699km/350km special) +from El Salvador to La Serena in Chile

1 Stephane Peterhansel (FRA/Mini) +3hr38min19
2 Nasser al-Attiyah (QAT/Mini) +3min38
3 Nani Roma (ESP/Mini) +5min58
4 Giniel de Villiers (RSA/Toyota) +10min48
5 Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL/Mini) +18min06
6 Ronan Chabot (FRA/SMG) +18min24
7 Boris Garafulic (CHI/Mini) +25min26
8 Lucio Alvarez (ARG/Ford) +26min15
9 Orlando Terranova (ARG/Mini) +29min50
10 Christian Lavieille (FRA/Haval) +31:09

Overall (after 12 of 13 stages)
1 Stephane Peterhansel (FRA/Mini) +48hr45min45
2 Nani Roma (ESP/Mini) +26
3 Nasser al-Attiyah(QAT/Mini) +54min07
4 Giniel  de Villiers (RSA/Toyota) +1hr21min13
5 Orlando Terranova (ARG/Mini) +1hr27min57
6 Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL/Mini) +3hr57min25
7 Marek Dabrowski (POL/Toyota) +5hr26min09
8 Christian Lavieille (FRA/Haval) +5hr34min59
9 Martin Kaczmarski (POL/Mini) +6hr55min33
10 Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS/Mini) +7hr00min59

1 Cyril Despres (FRA/Yamaha) +3hr58min18
2 Marc Coma (ESP/KTM) +2min17
3 Olivier Pain (FRA/Yamaha) +5min53
4 Helder Rodrigues (POR/Honda) +7min21
5 Jordi Viladoms (ESP/KTM) +9min10
6 Daniel Gouet (CHI/Honda) +9min52
7 Kuba Przygonski (POL/KTM) +10min45
8 David Casteu (FRA/KTM) +11min03
9 Ivan Jakes (SVK/KTM) +12min04
10 Javier Pizzolito (ARG/Honda) +12min49

Overall (after 12 of 13 stages)
1 Marc Coma (ESP/KTM) +52hr40min16
2 Jordi Viladoms (ESP/KTM) +1hr59min49
3 Olivier Pain (FRA/Yamaha) +2hr10min16
4 Cyril Despres (FRA/Yamaha) +2hr14min01
5 Helder Rodrigues (POR/Honda) +2hr20min39
6 Kuba Przygonski (POL/KTM) +2hr37min23
7 Joan Barreda (ESP/Honda) +3hr04min54
8 Daniel Gouet (CHI/Honda) +3hr17min10
9 Stefan Svitko (SVK/KTM) +3hr52min45
10 David Casteu (FRA/KTM) +4hr01min42

US - Stage 12 - Car/Bike - Stage Summary - (El... by Dakar
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