Dakar Rally: Stephane Peterhansel sets pace and pulls away

Stephane Peterhansel brought his Dakar Rally lead back up to over three minutes by winning stage seven on Friday

Nasser Al-Attiyah had closed to within 1m18s of Peterhansel's X-raid Mini when he set the pace on the preceding stage.

But although Al-Attiyah was quickest out of the blocks on Friday, it was Peterhansel who emerged on top by the finish in Salta.

Al-Attiyah was only sixth fastest on the stage, losing just under two minutes to the leader.

Guerlain Chicherit showed strong pace in the SMG Buggy by challenging Peterhansel for the fastest time, losing out by just 39 seconds.

Robby Gordon's Hummer was third quickest, closely followed by Orlando Terranova and Giniel de Villiers.

The latter continues to hold third overall, ahead of Leonid Novitskiy.

AUTOSPORT Dakar blogs:

Race2Recovery: A different kind of battle
AUTOSPORT's Sam Tremayne with X-raid

Leading positions after stage seven:

Pos  Driver                Team/Car            Time/Gap
 1.  Stephane Peterhansel  X-raid Mini        16h23m43s
 2.  Nasser Al-Attiyah     Red Bull Buggy       + 3m14s
 3.  Giniel de Villiers    Imperial Toyota     + 44m03s
 4.  Leonid Novitskiy      X-raid Mini         + 48m54s
 5.  Guerlain Chicherit    SMG Buggy         + 1h17m05s
 6.  Ronan Chabot          SMG Buggy         + 1h34m51s
 7.  Nani Roma             X-raid Mini       + 1h38m27s
 8.  Bernard Errandonea    SMG Buggy         + 2h02m17s
 9.  Orlando Terranova     X-raid BMW        + 2h06m38s
10.  Carlos Sousa          Great Wall        + 2h07m29s

Leading stage seven times:

Pos  Driver                Team/Car            Time/Gap
 1.  Stephane Peterhansel  X-raid Mini       1h47m27s
 2.  Guerlain Chicherit    SMG Buggy            + 39s
 3.  Robby Gordon          Gordon Hummer      + 1m08s
 4.  Orlando Terranova     X-raid BMW         + 1m11s
 5.  Giniel de Villiers    Imperial Toyota    + 1m32s
 6.  Nasser Al-Attiyah     Red Bull Buggy     + 1m56s
 7.  Erick Wevers          Wevers HRX Ford    + 3m45s
 8.  Leonid Novitskiy      X-raid Mini        + 4m07s
 9.  Carlos Sousa          Great Wall         + 4m34s
10.  Lucio Alvarez         Overdrive Toyota   + 6m24s
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