Sainz scores sixth Dakar stage win
|By Pablo Elizalde||Tuesday, January 13th 2009, 20:44 GMT|
Carlos Sainz moved another step closer to victory in the Dakar rally after scoring his fourth consecutive stage win on the tenth day of the event.
The former World Rally Champion has now won six of the ten stages that has taken place so far.
The win was also the 15th for the Spaniard in the Dakar.
Volkswagen driver Sainz finished the day in five hours and 32 minutes, beating Hummer's Robby Gordon by just 21 seconds, after the American had led through the final control points.
Sainz, however, moved ahead near the end of the shortened special and consolidated his lead even more.
"It was a god day," said Gordon. "We had pretty much a flawless run. We got by Mark Miller around CP2. I was a little conservative in the bumps but we lost by 20 seconds so it was very close."
Volkswagen's Mark Miller was third today, over seven minutes behind Sainz, who is now over 27 ahead of the American, second in the overall standings, with four stages to go.
"We struggled with the navigation all morning," Miller said. "When you are struggling with the navigation the rhythm is very difficult to maintain.
"Finally when we got a puncture and Giniel caught us we followed him. It was a very difficult day. I really expected to do better in the stage."
South African Giniel de Villiers lost further time to Sainz after he finished in sixth as VW continued to head the standings with their three drivers. The former leader is now 41 minutes behind Sainz.
The only works Mitsubishi driver left, Joan Roma, posted the fifth fastest time, 15 minutes adrift. BMW's Guerlain Chicherit finished in fourth.
The day was marked by tragedy, after Spanish rider Cristobal Guerrero was left in a coma following a crash at km 160. The Spaniard had to be airlifted to a hospital in Copiapo where a CT scan will be carried out.
Stage ten results:
Pos Driver Car Time 1. Sainz Volkswagen 5h32:55 2. Gordon Hummer + 00:21 3. Miller Volkswagen + 07:39 4. Chicherit BMW + 12:25 5. Roma Mitsubishi + 15:01 6. De Villiers Volkswagen + 18:15 7. Novitskiy BMW + 51:25 8. Tollefsen Nissan + 1h08:59 9. Bernand BMW + 1h09:58 10. Vigouroux Hummer + 1h12.11
Pos Driver Car Time 1. Sainz Volkswagen 38h59:027 2. Miller Volkswagen + 27:31 3. De Villiers Volkswagen + 41:13 4. Roma Mitsubishi + 1h13:13 5. Gordon Hummer + 1h34:38 6. Tollefsen Nissan + 5h14:18 7. Kuipers BMW + 8h01:51 8. Palik Nissan + 9h50:29 9. Holowczyc Nissan + 13h04:54 10. Chicherit BMW + 13h32:04