Al-Attiyah takes second Dakar stage win, Hirvonen out of contention

Toyota driver Nasser Al-Attiyah picked up his second stage win of the 2018 Dakar Rally, as Mikko Hirvonen joined his fellow X-raid Mini buggy drivers in dropping out of contention

Al-Attiyah takes second Dakar stage win, Hirvonen out of contention

Hirvonen was the highest-profile entrant to hit trouble in the 184-mile timed special of the Pisco - San Juan de Marcona stage on day three of the event, as the Finn was forced to stop for repairs short of the halfway point and gave up over an hour and a half.

The time losses incurred by Hirvonen means the 2018 Dakar will yield no marquee result for X-raid's all-new two-wheel-drive challenger, after the two other Mini buggies - those of Bryce Menzies and Yazeed Al-Rajhi - suffered accidents on Sunday.

Adding to the team's misfortune was a crash for the returning Nani Roma, who looked set for a solid finish before rolling his four-wheel-drive Mini John Cooper Works Rally car at the very end of the stage.

He arrived at the finish line 26 minutes down on the leader but required subsequent medical attention.

Roma sustains head and neck injuries in crash

With the fight for rally honours now almost certainly down to the Peugeot and Toyota camps, Al-Attiyah scored an emphatic stage win for the latter.

The Qatari had dropped from first to fifth overall on Sunday - he had to open the road and co-driver Matthieu Baumel was also unwell - but bounced back the day after, leading the way at every waypoint but the first.

He headed his nearest rival, Peugeot's Stephane Peterhansel, by four minutes at the finish line, and has moved up to third in the general classification.

Second on the stage allowed defending champion Peterhansel to vault into first overall, overhauling team-mate and erstwhile leader Cyril Despres, who finished almost eight minutes down on Al-Attiyah.

Slotting in between the pair in the stage results was the Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi of Carlos Sainz, while the fourth Peugeot works driver - Sebastien Loeb - ended the run narrowly behind Despres.

Toyota's Giniel de Villiers was sixth on the stage and has slipped behind his Qatari team-mate Al-Attiyah, as well as Loeb, in the general classification.

He remains ahead of Sainz, who completes the top six with a 14m27s deficit to leader Peterhansel.

Stage three result

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 3h09m08.s
2 Stephane Peterhansel Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 4m05.s
3 Carlos Sainz Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 6m07.s
4 Cyril Despres Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 7m43.s
5 Sebastien Loeb Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 8m34.s
6 Giniel de Villiers Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 10m11.s
7 Bernhard Ten Brinke Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 18m07.s
8 Martin Prokop MP Sports Ford 18m56.s
9 Jakub Przygonski X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 22m42.s
10 Lucio Ezequiel Alvarez Overdrive Toyota Toyota 23m01.s

Leading positions after stage three

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Stephane Peterhansel Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 6h34m58.s
2 Cyril Despres Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 3m11.s
3 Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 7m43.s
4 Sebastien Loeb Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 10m11.s
5 Giniel de Villiers Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 11m23.s
6 Carlos Sainz Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 14m47.s
7 Bernhard Ten Brinke Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 31m18.s
8 Orlando Terranova X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 35m19.s
9 Martin Prokop MP Sports Ford 38m56.s
10 Nani Roma X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 42m56.s


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Cyril Despres moves into 2018 Dakar Rally lead for Peugeot

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