2018 Dakar Rally: One more stage win and overall lead for Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz takes his second consecutive stage victory at 2018 Dakar Rally by winning Stage 7 today. The Spanish veteran in the #303 Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi was the fastest on the 425-km long special stage between Bolivian capital La Paz and Uyuni, taking the overall lead in the rally after his teammate and previous leader Stephane Peterhansel lost more than an hour and a half on repairing his car.
Peterhansel was the fastest on the stage before he was forced to stop on 186th kilometer, damaging a suspension when he hit a rock. He lost 1h45min on repairs, dropping far down in the stage classification. In the overall classification, he dropped to the third place. He’is probably out from a fight for a victory but, with seven more stages to go, everything is possible.
Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Giniel de Villiers and Nasser Al-Attiyah were the second and third fastest on Stage 7. De Villiers was 12.09 minutes slower than Sainz, Al-Attiyah was 2.14 minutes behind his teammate. Jakub Przygonski (X-Raid Mini) and Martin Prokop (MP Sports Ford) were fourth and fifth respectively.
In the overall classification after seven stages, Toyota drivers swapped their positions so Al-Attiyah moved from fourth to second, De Villiers moved from fifth to fourth while Bernhard Ten Brinke dropped from third to fifth after finishing just seventh today.
Carlos Sainz has 1 hour 11.29 minutes advantage over Al-Attiyah. Peterhansel is further 9.17 minutes back, just eight seconds ahead of De Villiers. The fifth-placed Ten Brinke is 4.10 minutes behind De Villiers.
The longest special stage of the rally, with the 498-km long timed section between Uyuni and Lupiza, is scheduled for Sunday, January 14. It would be also the last stage in Bolivia as competitors will enter Argentina on Monday.