Dakar: Mini’s Peterhansel extends lead after winning stage 9…

After stage eight’s close finish, it seemed like Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah was closing in on the current leader. However, stage nine saw Stephane Peterhansel of Mini X-Raid stretch his lead.

The rocky surface along the 465 km special caused drivers such as Al-Attiyah and Mini X-Raid’s Carlos Sainz to lose precious time to punctures. While Al-Attiyah still managed to finish in second place on the day with a variance of 12 minutes, Sainz had to settle for eleventh. Despite this, he maintains third place in the general rankings, with well over an hour to spare.

A turn of events saw Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Giniel de Villiers claim third place for the stage, just 19 seconds after his teammate. He was followed closely by Toyota Overdrive’s Yazeed Al Rajhi, a mere 25 seconds behind.

Century Racing’s Brian Baragwanath also managed to get back up after a troublesome few stages with a fifth-place finish. Despite this, he remains 35th in the general rankings, with a 12 hour and 17 minute variance.

Despite having a consistent run so far, Toyota Overdrive’s Jakub Przygonski crossed the line on the day in 24th, with a 37 minute and 22 second variance. With this, Bahrain Raid Xtreme’s Nani Roma, who finished this stage in tenth, now sits 26 minutes and eight seconds away from fourth place overall.

Martin Prokop of Benzina Orlen and Abu Dhabi Racing’s Cyril Despres and Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi continued their impressive performances with sixth, seventh and eighth place finishes respectively. A mere 16 seconds from the eighth spot was Lithuanian Benediktas Vanagas, representing Inbank Toyota Gazoo Racing Baltics.

As Dakar nears its end, stage 10 guides drivers out of Neom and towards AlUla over a 241 km liaison with a 342 km special.

Stage ranking

1. Stephane Peterhansel (Mini)
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota): +12:00
3. Giniel de Villiers (Toyota): +12:19
4. Al Rajhi (Toyota): +12:44
5. Baragwanath (Century): +13:51
6. Prokop (Ford): +16:37
7. Despres (Peugeot): +18:45
8. Al Qassimi (Peugeot): +19:40
9. Vanagas (Toyota): +19:56
10. Roma (BRX): +21:39

General ranking

1. Peterhansel (Mini)
2. Al-Attiyah (Toyota): +17:50
3. Sainz (Mini): +01:02:25
4. Przygonski (Toyota): +02:16:30
5. Roma (BRX): +02:42:38
6. Al Qassimi (Peugeot): +03:01:13
7. Vasilyev (Mini): +03:10:17
8. Prokop (Ford): +03:36:01
9. De Villiers (Toyota): +03:40:09
10. Lavielle (Optimus): +04:10:32

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