Dakar 2021, Stage 2: Al-Attiyah fastest, Peterhansel leads


By: Rachit Thukral

This is how motorsport.com saw stage2

Nasser Al-Attiyah put Toyota on top in the second stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally on Monday, as Stephane Peterhansel eclipsed X-raid Mini teammate Carlos Sainz to take the overall lead.

Dakar 2021, Stage 2: Al-Attiyah fastest, Peterhansel leads
Three-time event winner Sainz started first on the road in the 457km test from Bisha to Wadi Ad-Dawasir following his victory in Stage 1 on Sunday, but had already slipped behind Peterhansel by the second waypoint at the 46km mark.
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Once out in front, Peterhansel slowly started carving a lead in his Mini buggy, his advantage stretching to 1m31s in the first 220km as Sainz continued to drop behind.

However, this was as big a buffer Peterhansel could build, as Al-Attiyah rapidly started eating into his advantage from the sixth waypoint and finally grabbed the lead at the 315km mark.

The Qatari driver eventually won the stage by over two minutes from Peterhansel, marking a massive turnaround in fortunes following a dismal 10th-place finish in the opening stage.

However, the 12 minutes he lost on Sunday means he sits only third overall in the standings, nine minutes in arrears of Peterhansel and three minutes behind second-placed Sainz.

Behind the leading trio, Overdrive Toyota driver Yazeed Al Rajhi and Century’s Mathieu Serradori finished fourth and fifth, the duo separated by just three seconds at the finish.

The result allowed Serradori to remain fourth in the general classification, while Al Rajhi provisionally moved inside the top 10 following his 16th place finish on Sunday.

After a nightmare start to his fifth Dakar outing with three punctures and navigational errors, nine-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb bounced back strongly on Monday to set the sixth fastest time in Stage 2.

Sebastien Loeb

This has helped the 46-year-old, driving for the Prodrive-run Bahrain Raid Xtreme team, to jump from 22nd to seventh in the overall order, although he has already slipped more than half an hour behind fellow Frenchman Peterhansel.

Century driver Brian Baragwanath was another driver to break inside the top 10 following a disappointing showing in Sunday’s leg, jumping from 21st to eighth with the seventh-fastest time of the day.

Overdrive man Jakub Przygonski finished less than a minute behind Baragwanath in eighth, but gained four places overall to move up to fifth ahead of Al Rajhi.

The top 10 in the overall standings is completed by another Overdrive driver, Bernhard Ten Brinke, and the second BRX1 of 2014 winner Nani Roma.

Standings after Stage 2 (Top 10 only):

1Stephane PeterhanselMini7hr17m18s
2Carlos SainzMini6m37s
3Nasser Al-AttiyahToyota9m14s
4Mathieu SerradoriCentury14m21s
5Jakub PrzygonskiToyota24m27s
6Yazeed Al RajhiToyota27m32s
7Sebastien LoebBRX36m40s
8Brian BaragwanathCentury37m51s
9Bernhard Ten BrinkeToyota41m49s
10Nani RomaBRX41m55s

Source: motorsport.com Images: motorsport.com and Dakar.com