Loeb dominates Dakar Stage 5 as Al-Attiyah extends overall lead
The stage five of Dakar Rally returns to Arequipa with 120 miles of liaison followed by 320 miles of racing. The rally teams went all out for Stage 5, shaking up the rankings as Sebastien Loeb puts in an impressive stage win over Nasser Al-Attiyah, and KTM continues to dominate the bikes.
In the car category, as the teams raced from Tacna to Arequipa, Sebastien Loeb’s had a dream run today, nabbing the stage victory and putting a 10-minute lead on overall leader Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing SA), ahead of Nani Roma (X-Raid Team) and Stéphane Peterhansel (X-Raid Mini JCW Team) who secured third and fourth respectively.
Loeb recovered from a disastrous two days to start a push for the stage win.
“It was a very good day for me,” he said. “We pushed really hard from the start to the end of the stage, with no mistakes, no punctures, nothing. We had a perfect day. We’ll see where we are [in the standings]. The road-book was correct today, so we didn’t make any mistakes and it was good.”
Peterhansel lost more than five minutes at the 300-mile mark of Stage 5, resulting in a 26-minute lead for Al-Attiyah in the overall standings.
In the bike category, the teams raced from Monquegua to Arequipa with Sam Sunderland battling to victory, ahead of Xavier De Soultrait (Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team), while fellow KTM teammate and defending champion Matthias Walkner persevered through a suspected ankle injury to nab third, trailing only 3.5 minutes off the pace.
Sunderland said: “It’s day five — we have a long way to go. It’s been really tough, really difficult. If the first five days are anything to go by then, sure, there will be a lot more chaos to come.”
In the quad category, the teams also raced from from Monquegua with Nicolas Cavigliasso (Drag’on Rally Team) taking a comfortable lead over Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli (Ferioli Racing Team) and Gustavo Gallego (Gustavo Gallego Competicion), third.
In the Truck category, the teams raced from Tacna to Arequipa, as the Kamaz Masters continued to show their dominance. Eduard Nikolaev took another stage victory crossing into Arequipa in just under 6 hours with teammate Dmitry Sotnikov trailing by only 3minutes. Siarhei Viazovich of Maz-Sportaut took a comfortable third while Andrey Karginov (Kamaz Master) placed fourth conceding just under 12 minutes off the pace.
Tomorrow, the rally is granted rest day in Arequipa as drivers regroup and prepare for the next stage of racing on Sunday, where the rally continues to San Juan de Marcona.
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