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Sainz takes Dakar Day 4 and race lead

2014-01-09 05:15

DAKAR STAGE 4: Mini driver Orlanda Terranova of Argentina and co-driver Paulo Fiuza during Stage 4 of the 2014 Dakar rally between San Juan and Chilecito, Argentina. Carlos Sainz (SMG Buggy) won the stage and overall lead. Image: AFP

CHILECITO, Argentina - Former winner Carlos Sainz claimed Stage 4 of the 2014 Dakar Rally and the overall lead on Wednesday with defending champion Stephane Peterhansel second despite enduring a second successive day of punctures.

SMG Buggy driver Sainz, the 2010 Dakar champion, finished more than six minutes ahead of Frenchman Peterhansel, an 11-times winner on four wheels and two, with Qatar's Nasser al-Attiyah, the 2011 victor, third on the run from San Juan to Chilecito.


South Africa's Giniel de Villiers (Toyota Hilux) was seventh on the day, 24min19 behind Sainz, and is running sixth overall.

It was Sainz's 26th career stage win on the gruelling event and gave him an overall advantage of 2min06 on overnight leader Nani Roma (Mini). Al-Attiyah, also in a Mini, is 6min56 behind Sainz.

Peterhansel clawed back a few minutes after a disastrous Stage 3 on Tuesday which saw him suffer six punctures in his Mini but he remains 18min10 behind Sainz.

Sainz said: "At the beginning we had to drive in the dust but, little by little, we managed to overtake several cars. We also got a bit lucky when, about 10km from the finish, our power-steering broke in a narrow spot amid all the vegetation but we easily made it to the finish all the same.

"In the second part there was a waypoint where we went right but after a while realised it had to be on the other side, so we headed left and we found it. No big deal, I think everyone made the same mistake."

Peterhansel said his hopes were dashed by yet another puncture. "Things didn't start very well this morning,” he explained. “We had a flat after 30km - not the best way to start the day - so we decided to set a consistent pace to try to avoid making mistakes.

Towards the end there was a waypoint that was quite hard to find but we went the right way from the beginning by U-turning to look in the right direction, which helped us not to lose too much time. And, in the end, we did quite well."

Spain's Juan Pedrero took stage honours in the motorcycle section while French defending champion Cyril Despres seeking a sixth career title, was the victim of an engine breakdown on his Yamaha which put him to 41min17 behind overall leader Joan Barreda (Honda).

Despres had been second in the standings overnight but had to stop for more than 30 minutes to fix the engine problem, believed to have been caused by an electrical fault.

"My GPS broke. I had to do a little handiwork to repair it," Despres explained, “but I am not discouraged. The day that I give up is the day I go home. I love this race and there are plenty of stages left before the finish at Valparaiso on January 18."

Dakar Rally results after Wednesday's Stage 4, a 657km timed run from San Juan to Chilecito.

1 Carlos Sainz/Timo Göttschalk (ESP/GER/Buggy SMG) 5hr20min32
2 Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean Paul Cottret (FRA/FRA/Mini) +6min04
3 Nasser al-Attiyah/Lucas Cruz (QAT/ESP/Mini) +8min58
4 Federico Villagra/Jorge Perez Companc (ARG/ARG/Mini) +13min19
5 Nani Roma/Michel Périn (ESP/FRA/Mini) +14min08
6 Orlando Terranova/Paulo Fiuza (ARG/POR/Mini) +16min04
7 Giniel de Villiers/Dirk Von Zitzewitz (RSA/GER/Toyota) +24min49
8 Christian Lavieille/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA/FRA/Haval) +26min59
9 Pascal Thomasse/Pascal Larroque (FRA/FRA/Buggy MD Rallye) +33min37
10 Aidyn Rakhimbayev/Vladimir Demyanenko (KAZ/RUS/Toyota) +34min08

1 Carlos Sainz/Timo Göttschalk (ESP/GER/SMG) 14hr52min47
2 Nani Roma/Michel Périn (ESP/FRA/Mini) +2min06
3 Nasser al-Attiyah/Lucas Cruz (QAT/ESP/Mini) +6min56
4 Orlando Terranova/Paulo Fiuza (ARG/POR/Mini) +13min08
5 Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean Paul Cottret (FRA/FRA/Mini) +18min10
6 Giniel De Villiers/Dirk Von Zitzewitz (RSA/GER/Toyota) +39min10
7 Christian Lavieille/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA/FRA/Haval) +46min20
8 Federico Villagra/Jorge Perez Companc (ARG/ARG/Mini) +47min12
9 Krzysztof Holowczyc/Konstantin Zhiltsov (POL/RUS/Mini) +1hr07min00
10 Marek Dabrowski/Jacek Czachor (POL/POL/Toyota) +1hr18min44

1 Juan Pedrero (ESP/Sherco) 5hr29min13
2 Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHI/KTM) +29
3 Marc Coma (ESP/KTM) +3min10
4 Jeremias Israel Esquerre (CHI/Speedbrain) +6min30
5 Olivier Pain (FRA/Yamaha) +7min01
6 Joan Barreda (ESP/Honda) +13min56
7 Paulo Goncalves (POR/Honda) +18min38
8 Ivan Jakes (SVK/KTM) +19min30
9 Alain Duclos (FRA/Sherco) +23min13
10 Daniel Gouet (CHI/Honda) +24min38

1 Joan Barreda (ESP/Honda) 15hr39min53
2 Marc Coma (ESP/KTM) +3min10
3 Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHI/KTM) +5min12
4 Alain Duclos (FRA/Sherco) +25min55
5 Olivier Pain (FRA/Yamaha) +29min38
6 Cyril Despres (FRA/Yamaha) +41min17
7 David Casteu (FRA/KTM) +42min17
8 Jeremias Israel Esquerre (CHI/Speedbrain) +46min33
9 Jordi Viladoms (ESP/KTM) +49min14
10 Kuba Przygonski (POL/KTM) +54min52
Read more on:    argentina  |  dakar rally

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