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This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.









Dakar 2009: Mitsubishi challenge down to two Lancer.


The sixth stage of the 2009 Dakar Rally between San Rafael and Mendoza marked a day that Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart would rather forget, after team co-driver Gilles Picard (France) was taken ill on the special stage and forced the immediate retirement of his driver Luc Alphand (France) from the race.

Team mates Stephane Peterhansel (France) and Joan 'Nani' Roma (Spain) finished the stage with the fifth and sixth fastest times, but now hold sixth and fifth in the overall standings and face an uphill struggle to regain the lost time over the coming days.

Today's special stage was originally shortened from 394km to 232km and then to 178km because of the risk of standing water caused by recent rainfall. Event officials sent a route vehicle into the stage on Wednesday to monitor a river crossing which was already 80cm high and the decision was taken to skip the section on safety grounds.

Mitsubishi's mechanics finally completed the work on Peterhansel's and Jean-Paul Cottret's (France) 'Racing Lancer' just before the pair were scheduled to leave the bivouac and head into the liaison section to the sixth stage to Mendoza.

Peterhansel had incurred a 15-minute penalty in San Rafa?l on Wednesday evening for missing a time control. He eventually set the fifth fastest time.

Luc Alphand (France) was forced to withdraw from the Dakar Rally 12km after the start of the stage this morning, when co-driver Gilles Picard (France) was taken ill assisting Alphand in putting plates under a wheel when they were stuck in the mud. As a precaution he was airlifted to the bivouac in San Rafa?l for medical checks, but Alphand was unable to continue. Picard then underwent an electro-cardiogram test and everything was normal.

Joan 'Nani' Roma and Lucas Cruz Senra (Spain) held sixth position through the opening passage control and maintained his position to the finish.

2009/01/08 | 19:24 CET | Editor: MR/HS/MMSP






















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