|Dakar Rally 2013: Stéphane Peterhansel extended his cars overall lead.|
In the battle for the overall lead, between Stéphane Peterhansel and navigator Jean-Paul Cottret in the green Mini All4 Racing and Nasser Al Attiyah in his buggy, the French pairing came out on top. In the end, they won the special stage with a 1:56-minute lead over their rival from Qatar.
These valuable minutes were gained by Peterhansel in the closing stages. "The first part was simply very fast," the Frenchman explained.
"You just had to go flat out. Later, however, the track got narrower and technically more demanding. And that’s my terrain." In the overall rankings, he extended his lead over Al Attiyah to 3:14 minutes.
Meanwhile, Orlando Terranova (ARG) and Paulo Fiúza (POR) also confirmed their upward trend. They finished fourth, with their X-raid BMW X3CC. "We had another good, trouble-free day," said Fiúza.
"Nonetheless, the altitude proved to be rather exhausting." Like Peterhansel, Terranova also got really going in the closing stages. In the fast sections he held seventh position but then, in the technically demanding part of the special stage, he succeeded in working his way up.
The Russians Leonid Novitskiy and Konstantin Zhiltsov in the orange Mini, however, weren’t that happy. "This just wasn’t our terrain," admitted co-driver Co-Pilot Zhiltsov.
"We didn’t make any mistakes and nonetheless, we failed to gain ground. Leonid and I are just better on sand and dunes." By finishing eighth, they defended their fourth position in the overall standings.
Nani Roma (ESP) and Michel Périn gave their very best to work their way back up. With their yellow X-raid Mini, they started into the special stage from 25th position and had to pass not only competitors in the car ranking but also several race trucks. "For us, this was the day of the dust," said Roma.
"Throughout the special stage, we were driving in the dust cloud of one of our opponents. I didn’t want to take any incalculable risks and so, I overtook only when I was sure that nothing could go wrong." Over the course of the special stage, he worked his way up to 12th position.
Stephan Schott (GER) and Holm Schmidt crossed the finish line with their Mini 17:28 minutes behind special-stage winner Peterhansel, thus coming 25th, two positions ahead of their team-mates Boris Garafulic (Chile) and Gilles Picard in their Mini.
2013/01/13 | 17:27 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/X-RAID