Dakar Cars, Stage 7: Sainz sets pace, Loeb reclaims lead

Carlos Sainz recorded Peugeot’s sixth consecutive stage victory in Dakar 2016 on Saturday, while Sebastien Loeb retook the lead from Stephane Peterhansel.Shrugging off an array of mechanical issues that robbed him off the overall lead on Friday, Loeb immediately reclaimed the top spot and led the timesheets at every waypoint before the mid-stage non-timed zone.

Sebastien Loeb
Sebastien Loeb

However, he lost several minutes to Sainz early on into the second stint – and ended the stage 38 seconds behind the Spaniard.

But with Peterhansel also losing time in the latter section and eventually dropping narrowly behind X-Raid Mini driver Nasser Al-Attiyah, who broke up a likely Peugeot 1-2-3, Loeb was comfortably back into the lead.

Peugeot’s frontrunning trio are now just five minutes apart and their stranglehold on the overall standings has grown even more comfortable – with Al-Attiyah now almost 20 minutes behind Sainz.

Meanwhile, completing the top five in the day’s running order was Mikko Hirvonen (Mini), while Peugeot’s fourth driver Cyril Despres finished sixth, one second up on Toyota’s team leader Giniel de Villiers.

Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Toyota), Leeroy Poulter (Toyota) and Nani Roma (Mini) completed the top 10.

The stage also saw the tragic loss of a Bolivian spectator, who perished after being hit by the #409 Mitsubishi Lancer.

More to follow on today’s stage.

Source and photo: Motorsport.com