Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Toyota's Al-Attiyah tops longest test as Sainz edges to Dakar win

Toyota's Nasser Al-Attiyah beat Peugeot rival Stephane Peterhansel to top the longest timed special of the 2018 Dakar Rally, as Carlos Sainz edged closer to overall victory

Al-Attiyah was two minutes quicker than Peterhansel through the 325-mile run between Chilecito and San Juan on the 12th day of the two-week marathon.

X-Raid Mini pair Orlando Terranova and Mikko Hirvonen had led the way during the early miles but soon gave up ground, with Toyota driver Bernhard ten Brinke assuming first place.

The Dutchman was a minute and a half clear when arriving at the 56-mile mid-stage road section, but could not sustain his challenge for a second consecutive stage win and dropped behind Al-Attiyah and Peterhansel when the competitive running resumed.

Al-Attiyah and Peterhansel were neck and neck at that point, but the Qatari pulled clear at the end to record his third stage win of the event.

Peterhansel's second place was enough to make a significant dent in Sainz's lead in the general classification, as the Spaniard finished 18 minutes off Al-Attiyah's pace and watched his lead get reduced to 45 minutes.

Sainz suffered a puncture in the second part of the San Juan road special and also had a gearbox problem that left him finishing the final nine miles of the stage in third gear after suffering "strange noises if I entered fourth or fifth".

With just over 300 miles of competition left, Sainz - having had a 10-minute penalty rescinded on Wednesday - remains a strong favourite to give Peugeot a farewell Dakar win.

Toyota's Giniel de Villiers was a minute up on Terranova to make up the top three on the day, meaning the X-raid Mini outfit is still chasing a first top-three stage finish in this year's Dakar.

De Villiers is now over 20 minutes behind Al-Attiyah and nine minutes behind ten Brinke in what is currently an all-Toyota fight for the final spot on the 2018 podium.

Leading stage 12 times

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 5h49m57.s
2 Stephane Peterhansel Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 2m03.s
3 Giniel de Villiers Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 4m33.s
4 Orlando Terranova X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 5m56.s
5 Bernhard Ten Brinke Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 7m53.s
6 Mikko Hirvonen X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 12m15.s
7 Khalid Al-Qassimi PH-Sport Peugeot 12m33.s
8 Jakub Przygonski X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 14m51.s
9 Carlos Sainz Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 18m07.s
10 Cyril Despres Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 21m37.s

Overall positions after stage 12

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Carlos Sainz Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 42h24m31.s
2 Stephane Peterhansel Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 44m41.s
3 Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 1h05m55.s
4 Bernhard Ten Brinke Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 1h17m21.s
5 Giniel de Villiers Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 1h26m31.s
6 Jakub Przygonski X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 2h51m02.s
7 Khalid Al-Qassimi PH-Sport Peugeot 3h20m45.s
8 Martin Prokop MP Sports Ford 7h04m26.s
9 Peter van Merksteijn Overdrive Toyota Toyota 7h10m59.s
10 Sebastian Halpern South Racing Toyota 9h01m05.s

Be part of Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Dakar Rally: Peterhansel concedes defeat to Sainz with three stages left
Next article Carlos Sainz closes on Dakar victory, Stephane Peterhansel crashes

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe