Although today’s special stage was planned to be only 285 km long, it was expected to be difficult and so it proved. In view of the number of competitors who experienced major problems on the stage and the very hot conditions the race organizers made the decision to stop the stage at CP2.
After initially saying that the stage times would be given as those at CP2 the organizers then had a change of heart and extrapolated times to give virtual times to those that made it to CP2 but didn’t make it to the finish. The modified times still have Toby Price at the head of the field for the stage but with an increased margin when compared to the provisional results. Ricky Brabec (Honda) is now credited with second, 12’29″behind Price with five-time enduro world champion Antoine Méo in third.
In the overall standings Price now has a 28’59″lead over Stefan Svitko (KTM) with Paulo Gonçalves (Honda) dropping back to third after enountering radiator problems on the stage today.
In the quad category it was an Argentinian 1-2-3, Pablo Copetti taking the win from Alejandro Patronelli with brother Marcos in third. South African Brian Baragwanath was next up ahead of Nelson Sanabria Galeano and Jeremías González Ferioli. George Twigge’s 2016 Dakar came to a premature end when the motor in his quad cried enough during the stage.
Marcos Patronelli is still at the head of the overall standings, 1’13” ahead of Alejandro. Alexis Hernández remains in third. Baragwanath’s slow move up the overall ranking continues, he is now in eighth place.
In the car category Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena continued to lose ground to the leaders, dropping another hour and 13 minutes to the stage winners. Carlos Sainz and Louis Cruz saved Peugeot’s blushes though, taking the stage win from the Dutch pair of Erik van Loon and Wouter Rosegaar (MINI). Mikko Hirvonen and Michel Perin (MINI) claimed third ahead of Geniel de Villiers and Dirk van Zitzewitz (Toyota).
Yesterday’s stage winners, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Matthieu Baumel, had to settle for fifth in their MINI with Cyril Despres and David Castera (Peugeot) in sixth. Overnight leaders Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret (Peugeot) could only manage seventh today.
South Africans Mark Corbett and Juan Mohr (Century CR5) had their best finish of Dakar 2016 coming home in tenth place just ahead of Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie (Toyota).
It is still a Peugeot one-two at the head of the overall standings but Sainz and Cruz now lead the way 7’03” ahead of Peterhansel and Cottret. Al-Attiyah and Baumel remain in third but they are now over 14 minutes behind the leaders.
Hirvonen and Perin stay in fourth place ahead of a trio of Toyotas but they are now led by led by de Villiers and von Zitzewitz. Yazeed Al Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk are in sixth while Poulter and Howie drop down to seventh.
Corbett and Mohr’s good result on the day has seen them move up to 20th place.