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Dakar 2009: Leg 4 solide stage for Mitsubishi Team.

Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart's three turbo-diesel 'Racing Lancers' claimed third, fifth and eighth positions on the shortened 389km fourth special stage between Ingeniero Jacobacci and Neuqu?n in western Patagonia on Tuesday. Luc Alphand and Gilles Picard (both France) started from 15th position on the stage, but clawed their way through the field in the first of three turbo-diesel 'Racing Lancers' to clinch the third fastest time.

St?phane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret (both France) began the day in fourth overall and fifth on the road in their BFGoodrich-backed car. The defending champions finished the stage in eighth place, 1m 16s behind fifth-placed team mates Joan 'Nani' Roma and Lucas Cruz Senra (both Spain).

Today's special stage was modified at the request of a local landowner and the first 79km were converted into a liaison section, although the special retained its varied and demanding character on the run north to Neuqu?n through a region renowned for its palaeontology. Fifty-six of the original 531 cars, bikes, quads and trucks had already retired from the event at the restart this morning.

Mitsubishis held fourth, eighth and 10th positions through an amended PC1, with Alphand leading the way for Mitsubishi, a mere 26 seconds behind Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (Qatar), although Carlos Sainz (Spain) began to pull away from his rivals as the stage progressed. Alphand, Roma and Peterhansel eventually completed the timed section in third, fifth and eighth places.

2009/01/06 | 19:50 CET | Editor: MR/HS/MMSP

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