Yesterday’s Dakar stage was a grueling one for every driver in every category. The 416 km trip from Argentina’s Jujuy to Bolivia’s Tupiza included high altitudes and scorching temperatures which resulted in an almost complete shuffling of the current standings.
Loeb, Peterhansel and Sainz, who were leading the pack after Wednesday’s stage lost some serious time within the early parts of the secotrs. By the second waypoint, both Loeb and Peterhansel lost approximately 20 minutes.
Sainz only suffered a 10 minute loss but in an attempt to make up for that time, he pushed himself too far and rolled his Peugeot into submission, 8 km from the finish line. This forces Sainz to join Al-Attiyah and withdraw from the 2017 Dakar.
Benefiting from all of this chaos is Peugeot’s Cyril Depres and navigator David Castera who secured a four minute lead over Peterhansel. Mini’s Mikko Hirvonen also benefited from the chaos and secured himself third place.
Giniel de Villiers, who also suffered from a severe stop yesterday, has worked his way up to 7th place with a 44 minute gap from the lead.
Toby Price, the Aussie competing in the bike category, held a solid lead before crashing his KTM and breaking his leg bringing his Dakar campaign to an end as well.
Stage five will take journey from Tupiza to Oruro in which a 447 km special stage will be held in altitudes that can reach as high as 4 400 metres.
The current standings are as follows:
1. Cyril Despres (Peugeot) 11 h 33 min 16 sec
2. Stephane Peterhansel (Peugeot) +4 min 08 sec
3. Mikko Hirvonen (Mini) +5 min 04 sec
4. Sebastien Loeb (Peugeot) +6 min 48 sec
5. Nani Roma (Toyota) +10 min 30 sec
6. Jakub Przygonski (Mini) +36 min 35 sec
7. Giniel De Villiers (Toyota) +43 min 59 sec
8. Orlando Terranova (Mini) +48 min 37 sec
9. Boris Garafulic (Mini) +1 h 21 min 20 sec
10. Mohammed Abu-Issa (Mini) +1 h 35 min 50 sec