Nine-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb set the pace through the second stage of the 2019 Dakar Rally in Peru.

By: Valentin Khorounzhiy

Loeb, contesting the race in a PH Sport-run 2017-spec Peugeot 3008 DKR, gradually pulled clear over the 342 timed kilometres on the run between Pisco and San Juan de Marcona – only to nearly lose the stage win in the final stretch.
Sebastien Loeb

His teammate Giniel de Villiers was a close fourth and took the overall lead from another Toyota racer Nasser Al-Attiyah.

De Villiers sits 28 seconds clear of ten Brinke in a general classification Toyota 1-2. Roma and fellow Mini 4×4 contender Yazeed Al-Rajhi – fifth on the stage – are also within a minute of the marathon leader, while Loeb trails by 1m56s.

Al-Attiyah, who opened the road after topping the first stage, had a tough time through the 342km test, and dropped to eighth in the overall rankings.

Carlos Sainz remains the highest-placed of the X-raid Mini buggies despite two punctures and a failure of the onboard tyre inflation/deflation controls. The Spaniard will head into the third stage sixth overall, he and Al-Attiyah split by Loeb’s PH Sport teammate Harry Hunt.

Giniel de Villiers

Of Sainz’s fellow Mini buggy drivers, Cyril Despres is now ninth overall, while 13-time Dakar champion Stephane Peterhansel is a distant 13th.

Peterhansel showed strong pace on the day but was left to rue losing over a quarter of an hour to a stoppage around one-third of the way through the stage.

One of X-raid Mini’s five 4×4 rally car entries will go no further than stage two, as five-time Dakar stage winner Orlando Terranova crashed out 178km into the stage.

The Argentine, suffering from pain in his lower back following the incident, has been taken to a hospital in Ica by helicopter.

General classification (top 10)

1Giniel de Villiers
Dirk von Zitzewitz
2Bernhard ten Brinke
Xavier Panseri
3Nani Roma
Alex Haro
Mini 4×442s
4Yazeed Al-Rajhi
Timo Gottschalk
Mini 4×450s
5Sebastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
6Carlos Sainz
Lucas Cruz
Mini Buggy2m28s
7Harry Hunt
Wouter Rosegaar
8Nasser Al-Attiyah
Mathieu Baumel
9Cyril Despres
Jean-Paul Cottret
Mini Buggy3m28s
10Vladimir Vasilyev
Konstantin Zhiltsov

Source: Motorsport.com