DAKAR MOTORSPORT NEWS

Dakar 2020, Stage 10: Sainz takes commanding lead

X-raid Mini driver Carlos Sainz has taken a commanding lead in the 2020 edition of the Dakar Rally after topping the 10th stage, which was suspended before the halfway point. The Haradh – Shubaytah test was due to feature 534 kilometres of timed competition in the Rub’ Al Khali desert, but worsening weather conditions forced the organisers to end the competitive running early.

Citing “strong wind gusts” and all safety resources being “already mobilised”, the Dakar declared the results of the stage at the 223km mark in the car competition.

However, the first half of the planned full stage proved sufficient for Sainz to make up decisive ground relative to his main rivals Nasser Al-Attiyah and Stephane Peterhansel.

Yet both he and Peterhansel got lost trying to find the 223km waypoint, with Al-Attiyah surrendering nearly 15 minutes.

Sainz, meanwhile, came through without major setbacks, ultimately picking up the stage win and inheriting a lead of 18m10s and 18m26s over Al-Attiyah and Peterhansel respectively in the general classification.

Jakub Przygonski (Mini), Giniel de Villiers (Toyota), PH Sport-run Peugeot privateer Pierre Lachaume and Yazeed Al Rajhi (Toyota) made up the top five on the day.

Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso, who was 10th heading into the day, rolled his Toyota two kilometres into the stage, which resulted in a long stoppage and forced Alonso and co-driver Marc Coma to remove the windscreen from their Hilux.

He arrived at the 223km waypoint over an hour slower than Sainz, and has dropped down to 14th in the standings.

The competitors will now carefully make their way to the Shubaytah bivouac, where they will not be allowed to receive any assistance from their technical crews under the rally’s ‘marathon stage’ rule.

The last two days of the rally are due to feature around 750 timed kilometres.

General classification (top 10):

Pos.#Driver / Co-driverCarTimeGap
1305Spain Carlos Sainz

Spain Lucas Cruz

Mini37h15m37s
2300Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah

France Mathieu Baumel

Toyota37h33m47s18m10s
3302France Stephane Peterhansel
Portugal Paulo Fiuza
Mini37h34m3s18m26s
4309Saudi Arabia Yazeed Al-Rajhi

Russian Federation Konstantin Zhiltsov

Toyota37h56m23s40m46s
5311Argentina Orlando Terranova

Argentina Bernardo Graue

Mini38h13m16s57m39s
6304South Africa Giniel de Villiers

Spain Alex Haro

Toyota38h18m0s1h2m23s
7307Netherlands Bernhard ten Brinke

Belgium Tom Colsoul

Toyota38h31m16s1h15m39s
8315France Mathieu Serradori

Belgium Fabian Lurquin

Century38h52m58s1h37m21s
9324Saudi Arabia Yasir Seaidan

Russian Federation Alexy Kuzmich

Mini40h5m5s2h49m28s
10330France Pierre Lachaume

France Jean Michel Polato

Peugeot40h43m53s3h28m16s

Trucks: Shibalov sets the pace

Anton Shibalov ended his Kamaz stablemate Andrey Karginov’s streak of stage wins in the shortened test, as he outpaced another Kamaz – that of Dmitry Sotnikov – by one minute in arriving to the 223km waypoint.

Karginov, however, gave up only just over two minutes to Shibalov, and retains a 36-minute advantage heading into the final two days.

Despite the short length, it was a bruising stage for podium contender Siarhei Viazovich, who gave up over half an hour in his Maz but still has a 40-minute buffer over Ales Loprais and an hour in hand over Sotnikov in the fight for third place.

SxS: Lopez setback leaves Currie the clear favourite

Red Bull juniors Mitch Gunthrie and Blade Hildebrand finished the stage 1-2 again in their Overdrive OT3s, while their compatriot Casey Currie took a big step towards his maiden Dakar win.

Though he was six minutes slower than the two Red Bull entries – who are both out of the general classification – at the crucial 223km mark, Currie now has over three quarters of an hour in hand over nearest rival Sergey Karyakin.

Defending champion Francisco Lopez had been a bigger threat coming into the day, but lost nearly an hour to a costly puncture.

Source” Motorsport.com