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:
|1||Orlando Terranova||Monster Energy Rally Raid Team||Mini/BMW||3h04m06.s|
|2||Vladimir Vasilyev||Vasilyev Racing Team||Mini/BMW||30.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|
LEADING OVERALL POSITIONS AFTER STAGE 12:-
Dakar Rally: Al-Attiyah grabs stage win, Al-Rahji in trouble
Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah secures second overall victory