Dakar Rally: Al-Attiyah grabs stage win, Al-Rahji in trouble

Nasser Al-Attiyah continued to cruise towards 2015 Dakar Rally victory with another win on Thursday's stage 11, as Yazeed Al-Rahji dropped out of third place

Dakar Rally: Al-Attiyah grabs stage win, Al-Rahji in trouble

World Rally Championship regular Al-Rahji had looked assured of third on his Dakar debut, but an engine problem developed on his Toyota before he could even get to the stage start, ending his rally.

Times were close for those that did make it to the 121-mile stage from Salta to Termas de Rio Hondo.

Although Al-Attiyah was quickest, he was only 27 seconds faster than X-raid Mini team-mate Orlando Terranova, whose bid for victory was ruined by a crash in the first week.

Giniel de Villiers only lost 39s to Al-Attiyah on the stage, though that keeps him 29 minutes behind the leader in second overall with just two days left.

There was a surprise fourth-fastest time from Lithuanian Benediktas Vanagas, who is outside the outright top 20.

Al-Rahji's disappointment moves Krzysztof Holowczyc up to third overall, an hour behind de Villiers, with Erik van Loon making it three Minis in the overall top four.

Stephane Peterhansel was seventh quickest on stage 11, bringing him back up to 11th. He still faces a 50-minute gap to Ronan Chabot ahead if he is to salvage a top-10 finish for Peugeot on its Dakar return.

LEADING STAGE 11 TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar Rally Team Mini/BMW 1h53m10.s
2 Orlando Terranova Monster Energy Rally Raid Team Mini/BMW 27.s
3 Giniel de Villiers Toyota Imperial Team South Africa Toyota 39.s
4 Benediktas Vanagas General Financing - Autopaslauga by Pitl Toyota 40.s
5 Vladimir Vasilyev Vasilyev Racing Team Mini/BMW 1m16.s
6 Bernhard Ten Brinke Overdrive Toyota Toyota 2m12.s
7 Stephane Peterhansel Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 2m16.s
8 Carlos Sousa Mitsubishi Petrobras Mitsubishi 2m27.s
9 Christian Lavieille Overdrive Toyota Toyota 2m40.s
10 Emiliano Spataro Renault 2m47.s

LEADING OVERALL POSITIONS AFTER STAGE 11:

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Series Dakar
Drivers Nasser Al-Attiyah