|SA-Dakar: X-raid´s Peterhansel and Holowczyc lost time after punctures.|
Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret maintained third overall after a long liaison section across the Andes mountain range and a relatively short 207 kilometers special stage through the Atacama desert between San Salvador de Jujuy in Argentina and Calama in Chile on Wednesday.
Peterhansel began the day’s stage 4:19 behind Spain’s Carlos Sainz and led for large sections of the special before finishing in third position behind Sainz and Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah after stopping to change a flat tyre. He now trails the Spanish defending champion by 5:41.
"About 50 km before the end we had a slow puncture and had to stop and change the tyre," said Peterhansel. "I think we could have won the special without the flat tyre, but third position is an ideal place to start the stage in the desert tomorrow, so it is not too bad. The stage was fast with quite a few bumps and I had to be careful because it was a little dangerous in the dust of some of the bikes."
Guerlain Chicherit and Michel Périn began the stage in 14th overall and ninth on the road and were sixth through PC1 at 81km. They were troublefree throughout the special and recorded the seventh fastest time. "It was a good feeling today and a nice drive without any problems," said Chicherit. "We had no problems with the brakes and all is okay for tomorrow."
Poland’s Krzysztof Holowczyc and Belgian co-driver Jean-Marc Fortin started the short stage in fourth position, but had slipped to ninth in the virtual rankings at PC1 after stopping to change a flat tyre. They eventually recorded the eighth fastest time and maintained fifth overall.
"We had a right-rear flat tyre not far after the start," said Holowczyc. "The feeling was strange, because we got the flat tyre and arrived in an area of fesh-fesh and we had no power because we were driving with the puncture."
Orlando Terranova and Filipe Palmeiro had maintained sixth overall on the stage into Jujuy and were seventh at PC1. They set the sixth quickest time on the day’s stage.
Russian Leonid Novitskiy and German co-driver Andreas Schulz were running in eighth position on the stage through the 81km point and finished the special in ninth place.
The Portuguese crew of Ricardo Leal Dos Santos and Paulo Fiùza started the first Chilean stage from 12th position in their Monster Energy-backed BMW X3 CC. They were classified in 11th through PC1 and finished the stage in a similar position.
Germany’s Stephan Schott and Holm Schmidt completed the third stage in 28thoverall and held 29 th in the general classification at the start of the first Chilean stage. The pair was 22nd through PC1 and finished the special in 20th position.
2011/01/06 | 13:43 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/X-RAID