Sainz takes second Dakar stage win
|By Pablo Elizalde||Tuesday, January 6th 2009, 16:59 GMT|
Carlos Sainz has taken his second stage victory of the 2009 Dakar to consolidate himself in the lead of the event after four days.
The Spaniard, however, was followed closely by his main rival so far, Nasser Al-Attiyah, who finished just six seconds behind the former world rally champion.
Sainz, winner of the second stage last Sunday with his Volkswagen Touareg, completed today's 459-km special from Jacobacci to Neuquen in 3h:42.57, just six seconds ahead of BMW driver Al-Attiyah.
The Spaniard and the Qatari have won two stages each so far, and the Volkswagen drivers is three minutes and 46 seconds ahead in the overall standings.
Sainz could have won by a bigger margin, but he was slowed down by a slow puncture late in the stage.
"We began going pretty fast, and then we reached Nasser and he realised we were behind and start to attack a lot and we continued both at the very good pace," said Sainz at the end of the day.
"Then I overtook him outside the track but I started to lose pressure in one of the tyres and I had to stop to inflate it because it was a slow puncture.
"It kept losing pressure until the end of the stage and I think I was left with just half a kilo of pressure and we won by five or six seconds. It's a shame."
Al-Attiyah, meanwhile, admitted he was not disappointed to lose out to Sainz in today's stage.
"Tomorrow he will start in front of us, and with the dunes it is much better for me," the Qatari added.
Mitsubishi's Luc Alphand took third place today, over a minute behind Sainz, with Mark Miller in fourth in a Volkswagen and Joan Roma in fifth in the second Mitsubishi.
Volkswagen's Giniel de Villiers kept third place in the standings despite crossing the finish line in sixth today.
Reigning champion Stephane Peterhansel finished down in eighth and lost nearly seven minutes to Sainz.
Stage 4 results:
Pos Driver Car Time 1. Sainz Volkswagen 3h42:57 2. Al Attiyah BMW + 0:6 3. Alphand Mitsubishi + 2:24 4. Miller Volkswagen + 4:20 5. Roma Mitsubishi + 5:38 6. De Villiers Volkswagen + 5:48 7. Terranova BMW + 6:49 8. Peterhansel Mitsubishi + 6:54 9. Chicherit BMW + 10:31 10. Gordon Hummer + 12:13
Overall standings after stage 4:
Pos Driver Car Time 1. Sainz Volkswagen 12h47:45 2. Al Attiyah BMW + 3:46 3. De Villiers Volkswagen + 11:33 4. Peterhansel Mitsubishi + 15:41 5. Roma Mitsubishi + 20:00 6. Miller Volkswagen + 20:05 7. Terranova BMW + 24:30 8. Alphand Mitsubishi + 41:11 9. Gordon Hummer + 46:45 10. Holowczyc Nissan + 47:39