Jan 20

Dakar: Price and Al-Attiyah fight until the end


Image result for dakar logoThis was the last genuine opportunity to make the difference and gain a place in the general standings for the competitors. They had to be watchful on the first part of the special in which the dunes of San Juan had pride of place as well as a section of fesh-fesh that can cause major damage to racing hopes.

The quick tracks at the end of the special suited WRC experts down to the ground, but there was always the danger of getting carried away with speed and making a mistake the day before the finish…

The essentials

Toby Price did his utmost to leave in his wake Kevin Benavides and especially his team-mate and rally leader Matthias Walkner. Though the Australian won his second consecutive stage, in the end he was unable to open up sufficient enough gaps to shake the order in the top 3 of the general standings, which are very unlikely to change before the finish tomorrow in Córdoba. The classification is also virtually carved in stone in the quad category thanks to the 1 hour and 37 minute lead boasted by Ignacio Casale over Argentinean rookie Nicolás Cavigliasso. However, it was another local boy who shone today, with a second stage victory on the Dakar by Jeremías González. In the car race, Nasser Al-Attiyah also improved his roll of honour, with a 31st stage win that puts him equal with no other than Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard did not push hard today and finished the special almost 20 minutes behind the winner, but more importantly at the top of the general standings. It was an opportunity for lesser-known drivers to grab the spotlight, such as second placed finisher Lucio Álvarez, whilst Stéphane Peterhansel lost more than one hour and slid off the podium in the general standings due to crashing his 3008 into a tree, which broke his power steering. Bernhard ten Brinke will not climb onto the podium either, because he exited the race when his Toyota broke down, in the midst of a battle for the stage victory. In the truck race, Eduard Nikolaev let the speed and reliability of his Kamaz do the talking to taste victory, finishing 50 seconds ahead of his team-mate Ayrat Mardeev. All the Russian now needs to do is to reach the finish in Córdoba to win his third Dakar rally.

The complete article here on dakar.com

source:  dakar.com