Carlos Sainz into Dakar Rally lead after winning shortened stage

Carlos Sainz has moved into the lead of the Dakar Rally, with victory on the shortened ninth stage around Belen

Carlos Sainz into Dakar Rally lead after winning shortened stage

After becoming the first non-Peugeot driver to win a leg of the rally on Monday, Mini's Nasser Al-Attiyah maintained that pace early on Tuesday.

The Qatari led by 10 seconds at the first control point before picking up two punctures simultaneously, and his closest challenge came from Leeroy Poulter in a Toyota rather than any of the three Peugeot drivers.

In fact, behind Mikko Hirvonen and Orlando Terranova, Cyril Despres was the lead Peugeot in fifth, ahead of Sebastien Loeb and Stephane Peterhansel, with Sainz 10th, three minutes off the pace.

Repeating his Monday exploits, Sainz was the fastest driver of the afternoon, and led by 10 seconds when the day's running was stopped at the second control point, a decision taken due to extreme temperatures.

Mini pair Erik Van Loon and Hirvonen - 17 seconds adrift - were second and third for the day.

Peterhansel lost nine minutes to Sainz and relinquished the lead, through a combination of punctures and getting stuck in sand, with the 2010 Dakar victor now 7m3s ahead.

There is a cloud over Peterhansel's position, with stewards investigating a possible refuelling infringement in an unauthorised zone, following a complaint lodged by Mini.

Al-Attiyah is still third, 14m38s behind Sainz and 20 seconds clear of Hirvonen.

A day after rolling and declaring his bid for victory "finished", Loeb endured another troubled afternoon.

The Frenchman became stuck in dunes four times, and had to change a driveshaft on his Peugeot late in the stage, losing another hour and falling to 13th in the standings.

LEADING STAGE NINE TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Carlos Sainz Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 2h35m31.s
2 Erik van Loon Vanloon Racing Mini/BMW 10.s
3 Mikko Hirvonen Axion X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 17.s
4 Giniel de Villiers Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 38.s
5 Nasser Al-Attiyah Axion X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 2m04.s
6 Cyril Despres Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 6m46.s
7 Stephane Peterhansel Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 9m12.s
8 Yazeed Al-Rajhi Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 9m38.s
9 Orlando Terranova Monster Energy Rally Raid Team Mini/BMW 10m53.s
10 Mark Corbett Century Property Developments Racing Century Racing/MD 15m31.s

OVERALL LEADERS AFTER STAGE NINE:

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