Cyril Despres moves into 2018 Dakar Rally lead for Peugeot

Cyril Despres moved into the 2018 Dakar Rally lead by leading an all-Peugeot top three on the second stage

Cyril Despres moves into 2018 Dakar Rally lead for Peugeot

After Saturday's 19-mile opener, the second timed stage - a 166-mile loop that started and concluded near small Peruvian town Pisco - was the first proper marathon run of the event and largely comprised off-road sections.

None of the Peugeots had cracked the top 10 on stage one, but the manufacturer was ahead at every waypoint this time.

Despres ultimately beat team-mates Stephane Peterhansel and Sebastien Loeb by 48 seconds and three minutes respectively.

That vaulted Despres from his overnight 15th place to the overall lead, 27s ahead of Peterhansel.

Toyota driver Giniel de Villiers was best of the rest behind the three leading Peugeots on stage pace, trailing Despres by 7m26s as he moved into third overall.

His team-mate Nasser Al-Attiyah, opening the road after he had topped Saturday's stage, lost almost double that, finishing the run in eighth place.

Al-Attiyah said part of the time loss was down to his co-driver Matthieu Baumel being unwell.

Loeb is sat fourth overall, between de Villiers and Al-Attiyah, after his brake trouble-induced time losses on Saturday.

The fourth Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi of Carlos Sainz led stage two early on, but had two slow punctures, navigation problems and another whose co-driver - Lucas Cruz - became ill. Sainz ultimately dropped 13 minutes and is now eighth overall.

The stage was a particularly bruising one for the X-raid Mini outfit, with two of its three all-new buggies sustaining damage and dropping out of contention.

Rookie Bryce Menzies, who was fourth after the short opener, rolled just over a mile into Sunday's timed section and was unable to carry on, his Red Bull-liveried two-wheel-drive challenger reduced to a torn-up wreck.

The American was unhurt but will not continue in the rally, and his co-driver Peter Mortensen is understood to have suffered a broken ankle.

Fellow buggy driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi got further into the stage before colliding with the X-raid Mini John Cooper Works Rally car of Boris Garafulic, with both crews stranded as a result of the incident.

Orlando Terranova, driving a regular Mini four-wheel-drive car, finished as the top X-raid representative on the stage, placing between de Villiers and Sainz in fifth.

The remaining Mini buggy of ex-World Rally Championship ace Mikko Hirvonen was seventh fastest and holds the same position overall.

Leading positions after stage two

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Cyril Despres Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 3h21m18.s
2 Stephane Peterhansel Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 27.s
3 Giniel de Villiers Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 5m44.s
4 Sebastien Loeb Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 6m09.s
5 Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 12m15.s
6 Orlando Terranova X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 12m50.s
7 Mikko Hirvonen X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 12m50.s
8 Carlos Sainz Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 13m12.s
9 Martin Prokop MP Sports Ford 14m32.s
10 Bernhard Ten Brinke Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 17m43.s

Leading stage two times

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Cyril Despres Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 2h56m51.s
2 Stephane Peterhansel Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 48.s
3 Sebastien Loeb Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 3m08.s
4 Giniel de Villiers Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 7m26.s
5 Orlando Terranova X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 12m53.s
6 Carlos Sainz Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 13m09.s
7 Mikko Hirvonen X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 13m50.s
8 Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 14m51.s
9 Martin Prokop MP Sports Ford 15m04.s
10 Ronan Chabot Overdrive Toyota Toyota 16m13.s


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