|SA-Dakar Rally: Nani Roma in cars, Micki Biasion tuesday´s winner in trucks.|
On the 3rd stage from San Rafael to San Juan (208 kms timed section, 291 kms liaison for cars), the Spaniard Nani Roma (X-raid Mini All4 Racing) won his 15th stage on the Dakar and his 3rd in the car category. His team-mate Holowczyc, who is starting to make a collection of second places, nonetheless took control of the general standings.
It is just as vital to be consistent and regular on four wheels, where even the smallest of mistakes can cost several precious minutes. French yesterday´s leader Stéphane Peterhansel (X-raid Mini) made significant progress at a decent pace in the special, enabling him to put in the best intermediate times at the 41 km and 163 km points.
However, in the last 50 kilometres, the main favourite in the car category was halted twice by punctures. In the end, he lost more than 6 minutes to Nani Roma, who took it upon himself to offer the X-Raid a second victory for a Mini on the Dakar, after the one achieved by Novitskiy (X-raid BMW, Russia) on the first day.
What's more, the German team can be happy with its day's work, since Krzysztof Holowczyc (Poland), who was second today, takes the lead in the general standings.
As regards, the race hierarchy, there is still plenty of competition because Robby Gordon, with the day's 5th best time on the special, holds on to 2nd place in the general standings, only 54 seconds behind the Polish driver.
Also, whilst the Hummer has been able to keep up with and even dominate most of the Minis, the potential of the Toyota Hilux is also starting to be conveyed by progress in the standings.
In his own discrete and efficient way, Giniel De Villiers completes the provisional podium, made up of 3 different teams. The winner of the Dakar 2009 is only 1:40 minutes behind Holowczyc in the general standings.
The quad race between San Rafael and San Juan saw a predictable change in the balance of power. The wait for the reaction from the Argentineans was starting to drag out, after the two consecutive victories of their Uruguayan neighbour Sergio La Fuente.
Marcos Patronelli, who had not tasted victory since the 2010 edition, won with a lead of 1:52 mins over his countryman Thomas Maffei. Alejandro achieved the 3rd best time of the day, but more importantly took the lead in the general standings, 55 seconds ahead of: None other than his younger brother Marcos.
In the truck category, Team De Rooy confirmed their potential by winning a second consecutive stage. This time it was not Gerard who took it upon himself to continue the series, but last year's new recruit, the Italian Micki Biasion.
The two times world rally champion picked up his first stage victory on the Dakar. However, in the general standings, the happiest driver of the day will be Artur Ardavichius, who, thanks to second-placed finish, became the first Kazakh driver to take the lead in the rally.
2012/01/04 | 12:56 CET | ARTICLE: MR/ASO