Carlos Sainz in trouble on Dakar
The challenge of Carlos Sainz at the Dakar Rally is all but over after the 429km fourth stage from Nazqa to Arequipa in Peru.
Driving a two-wheel-drive buggy, Sainz lost many hours in the in the Peruvian sands with mechanical issues to fall to 24th overall. Also encountering issues was Robby Gordon who rolled and lost several hours in the process. The day soon became a nightmare as well for Lucio Alvarez, when he broke down after 28 km. As a result, he can say goodbye to the third place in the general standings that he had been occupying.
Sainz team-mate Nasser Al-Attiyah had no issues and despite being the first car on the road, was never headed to set his second-straight stage win. The Dakar winner from 2011, the Qatari picked up his 16th stage win. Stéphane Peterhansel maintained a steady pace to be 77 seconds behind Al-Attiyah, but maintained his five minute advantage in the overall standings.
“They were not easy dunes and it was very difficult to open the road, but we are so happy to finish today without any problems or mistakes,” said Al-Attiyah
“I’m so happy to be close to Peterhansel. The car is working very well and I’m quite happy”.
Australia’s Geoff Olhom was 14th on the stage and is now knocking on the door of a top-10, sitting 12th outright. Bruce Garland has his Isuzu in 43rd position, while team-mate Adrian Di Lallo is 52nd.
On two wheels Joan Barreda-Bort hit back after a damaged wheel saw him finish 44th yesterday. The winner of the second stage overtook 15 riders on the road, to pick up the best time for the third time in his career. His finishing time over eight minutes quicker than new overall leader Olivier Pain, who hauled himself up from fourth place in the general standings.
Four-time winner Cyril Despres opened the way, but chose to ride in a restrained manner, at the cost of dropping back in the general standings. Though he moved back to third overall, his eyes could be more focussed on Barreda-Bort behind, than Pain out front.
“After a bad day yesterday, when I broke the spokes of my wheel and lost heaps of time, I rode very well today,” said Barreda-Bort.
“I started from far back and was able to go on the attack from the beginning to the end.
“Nothing is lost yet, so I’m going to fight every day to move back to the front.”
Of the Australians Rod Faggotter had another solid day with 13th place on the stage and is sitting 17th outright. ‘Water Carrier’ for Barreda-Bort, Matt Fish, was 24th on the stage and is 24th overall.
In the quad race, Marcos Patronelli won his third consecutive stage. He seems to have found a consistent rival in Sebastian Husseini, the only rider to be less than an hour behind him after the first four stages.
In the truck category, Gerard De Rooy’s is no longer going solo out in front. The title holder encountered mechanical problems and two punctures, as well as some driving mishaps, getting stuck in the dunes for a prolonged period. In total, he lost almost half an hour on the day’s special stage, losing the command of the race to Ales Loprais by just 56 seconds overall. A genuine battle looks to be on the cards, because in addition to the Czech driver, the road to Arequipa saw the return to form of the Kamaz trucks. Eduard Nikolaev put his on the provisional podium, while Ayrat Mardeev, who won his first special stage on the Dakar, is in fourth.
Day 4 video highlights
VERALL RESULTS : End of Day 4
|1||Stephane Peterhansel / Jean Paul Cottret||Mini||
|2||Nasser Al-Attiyah / Lucas Cruz||Demon Jefferies Buggy||
|3||Giniel de Villiers / Dirk von Zitzewitz||Toyota HiLux||
|4||Leonid Novistkiy / Konstantin Zhiltskov||Mini||
|5||Juan (Nani) Roma / Michel Perin||Mini||
|6||Guerlain Chicherit / Jean-Pierre Garcin||SMG Buggy||
|7||Ronan Chabot / Gilles Pillot||SMG Buggy||
|8||Bernard Errandonea / Arnaud Debron||SMG Buggy||
|9||Boris Gadasin / Aleksei Kuzmich||G-Force Proto||
|10||Pascal Thomasse / Pascal Larroque||Buggy MD Rallye||
|12||Geoff Olholm / Jonathan Auston||Toyota HiLux||
|42||Bruce Garland / Harry Suzuki||Isuzu D-Max||
|52||Adrian Di Lallo / Steve Riley||Isuzu D-Max||
|7||Jeremias Israel Esquerre||Honda||