Dakar 2016: Loeb fastest at Stage 2, troubles for Sainz and Roma
Nine-time world rally champion and Dakar rookie Sebastien Loeb (Team Peugeot Total) scored his first stage win at 2016 Dakar Rally. He was the fastest driver through the shortened Stage 2 from Villa Carlos Paz to Termas Rio Hondo.
Loeb’s Peugeot 2008 DKR skipped the 387 km long timed section fin three hours, 45 minutes and 46 seconds, which was 2:23 minutes faster than eleven-time Dakar winner and Loeb’s team-mate Stephane Peterhansel. Russian driver Vladimir Vasilyev in G-Energy’s Toyota Hilux was third fastest, fifteen seconds behind Peterhansel.
Two rookies in the Top 5
After holding third place for much of the stage, South African Giniel De Villiers driving Toyota Hilux, slowed down at the end and dropped to fourth. The best Mini driver and another Dakar debutant Mikko Hivonen completed the Top 5, four seconds behind De Villiers. Classification and gaps of leading drivers in the overall standings are similar as on Stage 2, because they had identical times at Saturday’s Prologue. Stage 1 was cancelled.
Top 10 was completed with Leeroy Poulter (Toyota), Cyril Despres (Peugeot), Nasser Al-Attiyah (Mini), Martin Prokop (Toyota) and Bernhard Ten Brinke (Toyota). A good day for Team Peugeot Total was spoiled with some mechanical troubles on Carlos Sainz‘s 2008 DKR and he lost 11 minutes.
Some drivers got stuck in the mud
Last year’s winner Nasser Al-Attiyah didn’t want to take any risk and he finished the stage 4:18 minutes slower than Loeb, but it’s nothing compared to problems of his team-mates Nani Roma and Orlando Terranova. They both got stuck in the mud and lost lots of valuable time. Terranova dug out after 25 minutes, while Roma lost 43 minutes. One more Spaniard lost more than 50 minutes in the mud – debutant Xavier Pons (Ford Ranger).
Stage 3 Termas Rio Hondo – Jujuy, scheduled for Tuesday, is 663 km long, with 314 km of timed section.
Check out all the results at SnapLap result pages.
Here’s the Stage 2 summary:
Photos: Red Bull