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Giniel storms back on Dakar Day 2

2014-01-07 04:49

DICING IN THE HIGH DUNES: South African Toyota driver Giniel de Villiers stormed back to finish third on the day and sixth overall on Day 2 (San Luis to San Rafael) of the 2014 Dakar Rally in Argentina. image: AFP

SAN RAFAEL, Argentina - French 11-times Dakar Rally winner Stephane Peterhansel took the overall lead in the car division of the Dakar Rally on Monday, winning Stage 2 of the gruelling overland race.

Peterhansel finished 46sec ahead of Spain's Carlos Sainz and 5min34 in front of South Africa's Giniel de Villiers who recovered magnificently from finishing 27th on Day 1 on Sunday.

Villiers is now running sixth overall, 17min10 behind Peterhansel.


Peterhansel leads the overall car standings by 28sec ahead of Sainz and has a 4min10 advantage over Nasser al-Attiyah of Qatar. He said later: "It was a nice stage, really fast at the beginning because the average was more than 100km/h. It was a mix with a lot of fast tracks, then it was rivers with a lot of rocks and the risk of getting a puncture.

"At the end there were also very nice dunes but the navigation was easy because there were a lot of people everywhere. At the top of each dune i followed the people."

Peterhansel won the race in 2013, which was his fifth victory in the car division to go with six on a motorcycle.

South Africans Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie brought the second Toyota Imperial Hilux home 16th, 44min34 behind the winners. They are now 13th overall, 46min10 behind the race’s leaders and 29min behind their team mates.

 Villiers said later: “Today’s was a proper Dakar stage: it was very, very fast in the beginning – flat out – and included our first dune crossing. The dunes were tricky and it was very hot.

"We’re very happy with our result. We lost a bit of time when we were caught in the dust of other competitors, otherwise we experienced no problems at all. We have to have clean runs from now on if we want to prevent Stephane getting away from the rest of the field.”

Poulter told Wheels24: “Today was my first experience of racing in the sand dunes and we got stuck a couple of times. As a result we were passed by a few competitors and later, when we caught them, we struggled in their dust.

"The dunes were very tricky, high and very steep on both sides. It was a long and difficult stage and I’m happy we came through it all right.”

Glyn Hall, the SA Toyota team principal, added: “After the first two stages it’s clear that this is a much tougher Dakar than usual, as promised by the organisers. Tuesday's stage reminded me of a first day in Mauretania in Africa, which was the benchmark of toughness and a lethal cocktail of sand and high temperatures - almost 40 degrees outside the car 

“Giniel’s Stage 2 performance showed why he is regarded as one of the world's top rally raid drivers. We are all very impressed and pleased with Leeroy, who is having a super start to his first Dakar. He did really well on his first time ever in the dunes in the rally car.”


Sam Sunderland of Britain won the bikes stage, with Francisco Lopez of Chile 39sec behind. Joan Barreda Bort of Spain was two minutes back in third.

Barreda Bort held the overall lead, 2min03 in front of Lopez and 2min33 ahead of Sunderland.

The stage was regarded as one of the fastest in the two-week rally which will end on Jan 18 in Valparaiso, Chile.

Lopez said: "Today the first part was very, very speedy and the second part very sandy with dunes. That was OK for my machine. The end was very technical but I think it was a good day."


Tuesday's Stage 3 will run north from San Rafael to San Juan in Argentina.

Competitors will experience their first taste of the mountains on this stage and the 595km route (301km special, 295km liaison) will pass through the pre-Andes with the Aconcagua volcano standing 6962m high and soaring over the progress of the vehicles.

The first car will leave the San Rafael bivouac at 6.08am (10.08am SA time) and is expected to arrive at the San Juan overnight stop at 2.18pm (7.18pm SA time). 


The rally will cross into Bolivia on Sunday and Monday before moving into Chile where it will head south toward the finish.

This is the sixth consecutive year the race has been run in South America and the first time Bolivia has been on the route.

Day 2 results
Route: 433km timed car run and 359km timed motorcycle run from San Luis to San Rafael, Argentina:

1 Stephane Peterhansel (FRA/Mini) 3hr52min05
2 Carlos Sainz (ESP/Smg) +46sec
3 Giniel De Villiers (RSA/Toyota) +5min34
4 Nani Roma (ITA/Mini) +7min25
5 Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT/Mini) +7min44
6 Orlando Terranova (ARG/Mini) +12min41
7 Ronan Chabot (FRA/Smg) +14min03
8 Christian Lavieille (FRA/Haval) +19min38
9 Lucio Alvarez (ARG/Ford) +26min00
10 Reinaldo Marques Varela (BRA/Mitsubishi) +28min06

Overall car standings
1 Stephane Peterhansel (FRA/Mini) 6hr17min02
2 Carlos Sainz (ESP/Smg) +28sec
3 Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT/Mini) +4min10
4 Nani Roma (ITA/Mini) +4min19
5 Orlando Terranova (ARG/Mini) +8min31
6 Giniel De Villiers (RSA/Toyota) +17min10
7 Christian Lavieille (FRA/Haval) +20min59
8 Reinaldo Marques Varela (BRA/Mitsubishi) +36min00
9 Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL/Mini) +37min08
10 Marek Dabrowski (POL/Toyota) +38min08

1 Sam Sunderland (GBR/Honda) 3hr42min10
2 Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHI/KTM) +39sec
3 Joan Barreda Bort (ESP/Honda) +2min00
4 Ruben Faria (POR/KTM) +4min07
5 Alain Duclos (FRA/Sherco) +5min51
6 Ben Grabham (AUS/KTM) +7min15
7 David Casteu (FRA/KTM) +7min27
8 Paulo Goncalves (POR/Honda) +7min45
9 Marc Coma (ESP/KTM) +8min23
10 Cyril Despres (FRA/Yamaha) +8min43

Overall motorcycle standings
1 Joan Barreda Bort (ESP/Honda) 6hr09min41
2 Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHI/KTM) +2min03
3 Sam Sunderland (GBR/Honda) +2min33
4 Alain Duclos (FRA/Sherco) +5min47
5 Marc Coma (ESP/KTM) +7min00
6 Ruben Faria (POR/KTM) +7min18
7 Paulo Goncalves (POR/Honda) +8min10
8 Cyril Despres (FRA/Yamaha) +8min23
9 Ben Grabham (AUS/KTM) +10min05
10 David Casteu (FRA/KTM) +10min59

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