De Villiers wins as Al-Attiyah leads
|By Pablo Elizalde||Wednesday, January 7th 2009, 19:27 GMT|
Giniel de Villiers scored his first stage win of the 2009 Dakar rally to move into second position in the overall standings after five days of the event.
In the longest special of the rally so far, the South African mastered the sand dunes to reach the finish line in first place with a time of 5h47:43.
The 506-km special from Neuquen to San Rafael proved to be the trickiest of the rally so far, and both Carlos Sainz and Nasser Al-Attiyah lost valuable time.
Sainz, who had led the rally until today, lost over 15 minutes after making a driving mistake and tearing off his front hood following a problem with his steering.
The Spaniard has dropped to third position in the overall standings, while BMW rival Al-Attiyah has moved into the lead, with de Villiers in second, just two minutes and 24 seconds adrift.
"I had to do 200 kms without power steering and the car was very hard to drive over the dunes," said Sainz. "And then in one of them we flipped the car."
Qatari Al-Attiyah also hit trouble after his engine began overheating.
"We stopped twice because the engine was overheating," said the new leader. "The temperature was very, very high and so we had to stop and clean everything."
De Villiers' teammate Dieter Depping was second in the stage, ahead of American Robby Gordon in the Hummer.
Stephane Peterhansel was the quickest Mitsubishi today, finishing in fifth positioon.
WTCC champion Yvan Muller, competing in a single-seater SMG buggy, was forced out of the event after his car caught fire following a collision with the truck of Portuguese driver Elisabete Jacinto. None of them were injured.
Stage 5 results:
Pos Driver Car Time 1. De Villiers Volkswagen 5h47:43
2. Depping Volkswagen + 2.18
3. Gordon Hummer + 4.12
4. Al Attiyah BMW + 5.23
5. Peterhansel Mitsubishi + 7.12
6. Miller Volkswagen + 8.59
7. Alphand Mitsubishi + 10.02
8. Roma Mitsubishi + 13.38
9. Sainz Volkswagen + 15.42
10. Chicherit BMW + 38.27
Overall standings after stage 5:
Pos Driver Car Time 1. Al Attiyah BMW 18h44:37 2. De Villiers Volkswagen + 02.24 3. Sainz Volkswagen + 06.33 4. Peterhansel Mitsubishi + 13.44 5. Miller Volkswagen + 19.55 6. Roma Mitsubishi + 24.29 7. Gordon Hummer + 41.48 8. Alphand Mitsubishi + 42.04 9. Depping Volkswagen +1h16.40 10. Spinelli Mitsubishi +1h39.26