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Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah nears win, Orlando Terranova fastest

Nasser Al-Attiyah stands on the brink of his second Dakar Rally victory after a calm drive through the penultimate stage on Friday, where his X-raid Mini team-mate Orlando Terranova was quickest

Fourth-fastest on the 185-mile run from Termas de Rio Hondo to Rosario was sufficient for Al-Attiyah, and with second-placed Giniel de Villiers also taking it easy, the WRC2 champion's outright lead grew to 35 minutes.

X-raid's tally is now up to four Minis in the top five, as Vladimir Vasilyev's pace on stage 12 took him past Christian Lavieille's Toyota into fifth overall, behind team-mates Krzysztof Holowczyc and Erik van Loon.

Vasilyev diced with Terranova for the stage win before falling just 30 seconds short.

Terranova has now taken four stage victories on this year's event, but a top-15 overall finish is the best he can hope for following his opening-week accident.

Barring a major upset on Saturday's concluding 108-mile dash to the finish in Buenos Aires, Peugeot will have to settle for 11th on its return to the Dakar.

Stephane Peterhansel reduced the gap to 10th-placed Ronan Chabot's SMG Buggy on Friday, but is still 37 minutes adrift.

LEADING STAGE 12 TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Orlando Terranova Monster Energy Rally Raid Team Mini/BMW 3h04m06.s
2 Vladimir Vasilyev Vasilyev Racing Team Mini/BMW 30.s
3 Emiliano Spataro Renault 1m29.s
4 Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar Rally Team Mini/BMW 1m37.s
5 Bernhard Ten Brinke Overdrive Toyota Toyota 1m50.s
6 Carlos Sousa Mitsubishi Petrobras Mitsubishi 1m52.s
7 Stephane Peterhansel Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 4m04.s
8 Krzysztof Holowczyc Monster Energy Rally Raid Team Mini/BMW 4m39.s
9 Robby Gordon Speed Energy Racing HST/Chevrolet 5m20.s
10 Aidyn Rakhimbayev Mini/BMW 6m15.s

LEADING OVERALL POSITIONS AFTER STAGE 12:

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