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Dakar Rally: Peterhansel pulls clear as Al-Attiyah loses ground

Stephane Peterhansel, X-raid Mini, Dakar 2013Stephane Peterhansel's Dakar Rally lead stretched to nearly 10 minutes on Wednesday's fifth stage when closest rival Nasser Al-Attiyah went off course and lost time.

Al-Attiyah had initially looked set to make further inroads into Peterhansel's advantage on the Arequipa to Arica stage as he set the early pace.

But what the Red Bull buggy driver described as a "navigational mistake" ultimately cost him six minutes.

Although that still kept Al-Attiyah in second place overall, Peterhansel's X-raid Mini now leads by 9m54s.

Peterhansel was second fastest on the stage behind team-mate Nani Roma, as the Spaniard stepped up his challenge after a quiet start.

Roma's stage win brings him to within eight seconds of fellow Mini man Leonid Novitskiy in what is now a battle for fourth.

Giniel de Villiers remains third despite a brake issue on stage five.

Robby Gordon was back on the pace after his disastrous start to the rally. The Hummer driver was third quickest, although this will be to little avail as he is over six hours behind the leaders overall.

Erstwhile leader Carlos Sainz is three hours from the frontrunners and still outside the top 20. He was fifth fastest on Wednesday for Red Bull.

Leading positions after stage five:

Pos  Driver                Team/Car           Time/Gap
 1.  Stephane Peterhansel  X-raid Mini       10h55m32s
 2.  Nasser Al-Attiyah     Red Bull Buggy      + 9m54s
 3.  Giniel de Villiers    Imperial Toyota    + 33m50s
 4.  Leonid Novitskiy      X-raid Mini        + 37m35s
 5.  Nani Roma             X-raid Mini        + 37m43s
 6.  Guerlain Chicherit    SMG Buggy          + 56m34s
 7.  Ronan Chabot          SMG Buggy        + 1h10m35s
 8.  Bernard Errandonea    SMG Buggy        + 1h18m17s
 9.  Boris Gadasin         G-Force Nissan   + 1h31m46s
10.  Pascal Thomasse       MD Buggy         + 1h32m46s

Leading stage five times:

Pos  Driver                Team/Car           Time/Gap
 1.  Nani Roma             X-raid Mini        1h49m40s
 2.  Stephane Peterhansel  X-raid Mini         + 1m23s
 3.  Robby Gordon          Gordon Hummer       + 1m41s
 4.  Giniel de Villiers    Imperial Toyota     + 1m51s
 5.  Carlos Sainz          Red Bull Buggy      + 3m41s
 6.  Leonid Novitskiy      X-raid Mini         + 5m10s
 7.  Nasser Al-Attiyah     Red Bull Buggy      + 6m01s
 8.  Guilherme Spinelli    ASX Mitsubishi      + 6m41s
 9.  Orlando Terranova     X-raid BMW          + 7m15s
10.  Carlos Sousa          Great Wall          + 7m54s
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