Both Sebastien Loeb (Peugeot) and Toby Price (KTM) took emphatic victories in the second stage of the 2017 Dakar Rally, from Resistencia to San Miguel de Tucumán, earlier today to move into the overall lead in their respective categories.

Sebastien Loeb on his way to his first stage win of Rally Dakar 2017

Image by Flavien Duhamel / Red Bull Content Pool

Today’s 803 km route featured a technical and at times narrow 275 km timed stage which suited the nine-time WRC World Champion who had taken the lead by the first checkpoint. Loeb went on to finish the stage 1’23” ahead of overnight leader Nasser Al_Attiyah (Toyota Hilux). Carlos Sainz made it two Peugeots  in the top three when he just managed to better Geniel de Villiers (Toyota Hilux). The gap between the pair after 275 km of Argentinian track was just one second.

Nani Roma (Toyota Hilux) came home in fifth ahead of Yazeed Al-Rajhi in the first of the MINIs. After only managing twelfth place in the short opening stage, Stephane Peterhansel improved matters today with seventh ahead of Mikko Hirvonen (MINI), Erik van Loon (Toyota) and Romain Dumas (Peugeot). Zimbabwean Conrad Rautenbach racing alongside South African navigator Rob Howie finished the stage in fourteenth place. Xavier Pons, who started the day in second place, rolled his South African built Ford Ranger out of the race.

Loeb’s win sees him move to the top of the overall standings, 28 seconds ahead of Al-Attiyah. Sainz is now in third closely followed by de Villiers with Roma another 51 seconds back in fifth. Rautenbach and Howie have moved up one spot to 14th in the overall ranking.

Australian Toby Price completely dominated stage 2 of the 2017 Dakar on his KTM

Image by Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool

After a cautious start on the opening day Toby Price showed his rivals that he means business on the 2017 Dakar. The 2016 winner was never headed on his way to the second stage win with his closest rival, teammate Matthias Walkner, finishing over three minutes back. Walkner later received a five-minute penalty for speeding in the link stage which dropped the Austrian to 13th in the stage results.

Walkner’s penalty handed second place to Paulo Goncalves (Honda) with Xavier de Soultrait (Yamaha) in third. Sam Sunderland (KTM) was next up ahead of Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) and Stefan Svitko (KTM). The Honda pairing on Ricky Brabec and Juan Barreda finished in seventh and eighth respectively with Gerard Farres Guell (KTM) and Rodney Faggoter (Yamaha) rounding out the top ten.

David Thomas (Husqvarna) fared the best of the Southern African riders, ending the stage in 44th place. Botswana resident Vince Crosbie (KTM) came home in 67th ahead of South Africans Walter Terblanche (KTM) and Joey Evans (KTM) who were 97th and 106th respectively.

Price now has a 2’54” lead at the top of the overall standings. Goncalves is second with Sunderland 29 seconds further back. De Soultrait and Quintanilla complete the top five.

Among the Southern Africans, Thomas leads the way in 43rd with Crosbie in 65th, Terbalnche in 96th and Evans in 102nd.

Nelson Augusto Sanabria Galeano picked up a penalty that dropped him to fifth place on stage 2

Image by Eric Vargiolu / DPPI

Yamaha again dominated the quad category, with the top five riders again mounted on machines manufactured by the Japanese marque. This time it was Pablo Copetti who took the win in the first stage on home soil for the Argentinian. He finished almost two minutes ahead Nelson Augusto Sanbria Galeano although the Paraguayan was later penalized five minutes which dropped him down to fifth in the stage results.

Axel Dutrie inherited second place ahead of Ignacio Casale with first day winner Marcelo Medeiros in fourth.

Copetti’s convincing win moves him to the top of the overall standings ahead of Medeiros and Dutrie.

2016 runner up Ayrat Mardeev had a disappointing second stage finishing in a lowly 21st place

Image by Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool

Martin van den Brink (Renault) led the truck competitors home, taking the win from Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz) and Peter Versluis (MAN). Defending champion Gerard de Rooy (Iveco) again finished the day in fifth, this time behind Sairhei Viazovich (Maz).

Van den Brink now has a 3’09” lead at the head of the overall truck standings from Sotnikov with the winner of the opening stage, Martin Kolomy (Tatra), in third.

Tomorrow’s 780km stage from San Miguel de Tucumán to San Salvador de Jujuy includes 364 km of racing for most of the competitors with the trucks tackling a shorter 199 km special stage. The stage is the first at high altitude and should provide some idea of of the relative performance of the more powerful normally aspirated Toyotas and turbocharged Peugeots that should start coming into their own at altitude thanks to their forced induction.