Dakar 2017, Stage 5: Loeb fastest, Peterhansel moves to the lead

Sebastien Loeb took his second stage win of the 2017 Dakar Rally, as Peugeot teammate Stephane Peterhansel took the lead in the overall classification. Despite the timed section being cut virtually in half, both Peterhansel and Loeb managed to make up enough time on the third Peugeot of Cyril Despres to leapfrog their teammate in the standings. Friday’s Bolivia-based stage from Tupiza to Oruro was originally to feature a 447km timed section, but adverse weather conditions closer to Oruro forced organisers to move the finish line to the neutralised zone.

Having given up the lead on Thursday due to engine troubles, Loeb was in control this time around, leading at each waypoint on his way to the finish.

At one stage, the Frenchman was a full six minutes ahead of his nearest rival Nani Roma (Toyota), but a navigational hiccup for Loeb allowed Roma to finish just 44 seconds adrift.

Peterhansel, having lost track at the earlier waypoint, managed to finish the stage a minute and a half behind Loeb, allowing him to remain ahead of his teammate and assume the lead.

Opening the road after having taken his first Dakar stage win on four wheels yesterday, Despres lost more than 10 minutes at the third waypoint and was a distant fourth at stage end, just ahead of Peugeot privateer and reigning WEC champion Romain Dumas in fifth.

Despres now makes up a Peugeot 1-2-3 in the general classification, a minute up on the French marque’s new nearest rival Roma.

The Spaniard has taken that mantle from X-Raid Mini’s Mikko Hirvonen, who had a torrid stage in terms of navigation and lost more than half an hour, dropping to 42 minutes off the lead.

Toyota’s Giniel de Villiers also lost further ground with navigational troubles, and is down to eighth, over an hour adrift of Peterhansel.

Cars standings after Stage 5:

1 Stephane Peterhansel

 Jean-Paul Cottret

2 Sebastien Loeb

 Daniel Elena

3 Cyril Despres

 David Castera

4 Nani Roma

 Alex Haro

5 Mikko Hirvonen

 Michel Perin

6 Kuba Przygonski

 Tom Colsoul

7 Orlando Terranova

 Andreas Schulz

8 Giniel de Villiers

 Dirk von Zitzewitz

9 Boris Garafulic

 Filipe Palmeiro

10 Romain Dumas

 Alain Guehennec