Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah closes on Stephane Peterhansel

Nasser Al-Attiyah slashed Stephane Peterhansel's Dakar Rally lead to a little over five minutes by going fastest on the event's fourth stage on Tuesday

Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah closes on Stephane Peterhansel

The Qatari began the day second overall in his Red Bull buggy, 6m33s behind Peterhansel's X-raid Mini, but was in contention for honours on the Nazca-Arequipa stage throughout.

A final burst of speed at the end of the day gave him a second stage win of the 2013 event by 36s from Guerlain Chicherit's Astana buggy.

With Peterhansel third fastest over the 179 miles and 1m17s slower than Al-Attiyah, the Frenchman's lead is now a reduced 5m16s.

Former leader Carlos Sainz had already dropped to 10th after organisers reversed their decision to give him back the 20 minutes he lost on Sunday to a navigational problem.

And the Spaniard lost yet more time on Tuesday, his Red Bull buggy stopping several times, just as it had done the previous day.

There were also problems for Lucio Alvarez, third overnight. He spent a long period at a standstill, allowing fellow Toyota driver Giniel de Villiers and X-raid duo Leonid Novitskiy and Nani Roma to move into third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Robby Gordon began the day in 13th, but rolled his Hummer less than 20 miles into the timed section. Although unharmed, Gordon's hopes of a good result are gone, the Hummer still having not moved over two hours later.

Leading positions after stage four:

Pos  Driver                Team/Car          Time/Gap
 1.  Stephane Peterhansel  X-raid Mini       9h04m29s
 2.  Nasser Al-Attiyah     Red Bull Buggy     + 5m16s
 3.  Giniel de Villiers    Imperial Toyota   + 33m22s
 4.  Leonid Novitskiy      X-raid Mini       + 33m48s
 5.  Nani Roma             X-raid Mini       + 39m06s
 6.  Guerlain Chicherit    SMG Buggy         + 42m32s
 7.  Ronan Chabot          SMG Buggy         + 59m30s
 8.  Bernard Errandonea    SMG Buggy       + 1h04m54s
 9.  Boris Gadasin         G-Force Nissan  + 1h22m07s
10.  Pascal Thomasse       MD Buggy        + 1h23m56s

Leading stage four times:

 1.  Nasser Al-Attiyah     Red Bull Buggy    3h28m46s
 2.  Guerlain Chicherit    SMG Buggy            + 36s
 3.  Stephane Peterhansel  X-raid Mini        + 1m17s
 4.  Giniel de Villiers    Imperial Toyota    + 4m17s
 5.  Nani Roma             X-raid Mini       +  7m27s
 6.  Leonid Novitskiy      X-raid Mini       + 13m55s
 7.  Nunzio Coffaro        Azimut Toyota     + 20m45s
 8.  Ronan Chabot          SMG Buggy         + 21m07s
 9.  Pascal Thomasse       MD Buggy          + 24m37s
10.  Bernard Errandonea    SMG Buggy         + 27m39s
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Dakar Rally: Peterhansel pulls clear as Al-Attiyah loses ground

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