The 2013 Dakar Rally left Peru and moved on to Chile on its fifth day of action. Competitors tackled 456km today, combining of a 284km connecting stage and the 172km special. Uniquely however, the stage started directly with the special for the bikes and the quads, whereas the cars and trucks dealt with a link stage before attempting 172-km long timed section.
Bikes: Casteu wins the stage, but Pain remains in the lead
Olivier Pain continues to lead the bikes category out right, however, it was countryman David Casteu who won today’s stage, heading Pain by a minute and nineteen seconds.
Casteu posted the fastest time at the 20km checkpoint, with yesterday’s winner Joan Barreda Bort and Helder Rodrigues initially completing the top three. However, further behind, Paulo Goncalves, Pal Ullevalseter and James West all lost time, apparently through a navigational error.
Kurt Caselli and Alain Duclos were having strong rides, and soon moved up to second and third in the standings respectively behind Casteu, but halfway through the stage, they too lost time, with Pain and Rodrigues hitting back. Alessandro Botturi was another one to appear towards the top of the times, with him at one stage being second to Casteu.
Barreda Bort continued to lose time, before being delayed for a further five minutes, apparently suffering from technical problems, which was later confirmed to be fuel pump related.
Elsewhere, David Casteu did indeed post the fastest time of the day, his first stage win of the rally so far,his winning time behind one hour, 39 minutes and 42 seconds. Olivier Pain continued a strong run to finish second, but as already mentioned, continues to hold the overall lead, whilst Pedrero Garcia managed to post the third fastest time today.
Long-time favourite in the category Cyril Despres posted the fifth fastest time today, four minutes and seven seconds of Casteu’s pace, but remains in third overall.
Pain leads the overall standings from Casteu by a slim margin of one minute and fifteen seconds, with Despres completing an all French rostrum so far, six minutes off the pace.
“David started to catch up with me a bit in the middle, but I put some distance in between us near the end. It was a good special stage, very dangerous at the beginning with a bit of navigation before a big rocky area. The end was more twisting in a canyon with nice tracks and some fesh-fesh. It was a nisce stage to ride and I’m still leader. That makes it two days running now,” Pain said.
Quads: Another day, another Patronelli stage win
Marcos Patronelli now has an extremely health lead in the quad bike category after another stage victory, whilst Sebastian Husseini, who had been Patronelli’s closest rival, experienced problems.
Husseini started strongly, and posted the third fastest time at the 20km checkpoint behind Patronelli and Lukasz Laskawiec, two minutes and fourteen seconds off the pace, but would soon lose almost half an hour in the first third of the special, just after the first checkpoint, but would eventually re-join the action.
He was not the only one to experience difficulties, with Lucas Bonetto, who had just set the third fastest time after the half-way point suffering technical problems, delaying him vital time.
Patronelli was in a class of his own once again and lead from the outset, holding an advantage of 29 seconds over Laskawiec after the first checkpoint. He would extend that advantage to three minutes by the end of proceedings over the Polish rider. Ignacio Casale completed the top three, fourteen minutes off the pace of Patronelli.
The Argentine’s lead is now one hour and eighteen minutes over Casale, with a massive two hour difference covering the top six. After his disastrous day today, Husseini drops way back down the order into twenty first position, now four hours and sixteen minutes behind Patronelli.
Cars: Al-Attiyah loses time
After two consecutive stage victories, things were tougher for Red Bull driver Nasser Al-Attiyah today as he lost time on overall leader Stéphane Peterhansel as Nani Roma collected his first stage win of the event.
Initially, things started strongly for Al-Attiyah, posting the fastest time in the first 30km, with Peterhansel and Roma only seventeen and 45 seconds behind the Qatari respectively.
However, Roma would soon take the advantage and at the 70km checkpoint held a 34 second advantage over Al-Attiyah and Giniel de Villiers just behind with Peterhansel completing the top four. Al-Attiyah would soon hit difficulties later in the stage however, and lost six minutes to Roma, but more importantly, four and a half minutes to Peterhansel.
Al-Attiyah blamed his lost time on a navigational error:
“Not a very strong day. We made a navigation mistake and got lost a little bit, but, okay, we are here now.”
After ending on his roof yesterday, American Robby Gordon was having a more competitive outing today in his Hummer, as was Carlos Sainz, who was no longer beset with technical problems that have afflicted him in recent days. Things were not so good for Guerlain Chicherit, who starred yesterday, but lost fifteen minutes to Roma today.
Roma would claim stage victory, with a time of one hour and 49 minutes being nearly a minute and a half faster than Peterhansel, with Gordon eventually claiming the third fastest time of the day, one minute and 41 seconds off the pace. De Villiers and Sainz rounded out the top five.
In the overall standings, today’s result means Peterhansel now extends his advantage over Al-Attiyah to nine minutes and 54 seconds, with de Villiers maintaining third, half an hour behind Peterhansel’s Mini.
“All in all, it was a very pleasant special to drive, but sometimes it was quite rocky, so we were on the defensive. But the rest was great to drive…” the overall leader said of today’s action.
Trucks: Stacey hits back
The Dakar rally started poorly for Gerard de Rooy’s team mate Hans Stacey, who lost vital time in the opening stages. But today the Dutchman hit back to claim his first stage victory of the event in a tight battle.
Things were initially close between de Rooy, Stacey and yesterday’s winner Ayrat Mardeev, with two minutes separating the trio after the first 70km, with de Rooy holding a slim advantage. Stacey would soon take the advantage though, and 118km into things, led over Mardeev by only one minute and 25 seconds, with de Rooy having dropped back to third, one minute and 54 behind his team mate.
Stacey would extend his advantage over eventual second fastest finisher, Eduard Nikolaev, to one minute and 54 seconds. Nikolaev had been the fourth fastest man earlier in the stage, but made up ground towards the end to finish the day in second. de Rooy maintained third, two minutes and 32 seconds off his team mate, with Mardeev missing out on a top three finish by two seconds.
“It was a very nice stage and we took care of our truck and I felt fairly good. I have a new Hans system and I didn’t feel my neck as much. It’s not hurting like yesterday so I can drive normally. I’m so happy to have won the scratch again. I’ve been so close, ten times, but it’s nice. I don’t know if I’ve won the scratch, but we’ll have to wait. But we made very good time,” a delighted Stacey said.
Today’s result means that Gerard de Rooy reclaims the lead in the overall standings. He has a slim advantage of five minutes and 33 seconds over Nikolaev. Ales Loprais, who led the standings after yesterday, had a tougher time of it today and therefore drops down several positions.
2013 Dakar Rally stage five results
|3||Ignacio Nicolas Casale||Yamaha||02:13:44||00:14:14|
|5||Sarel van Biljon||E-ATV||02:17:23||00:17:53|
|4||Giniel de Villiers||Toyota||01:51:31||00:01:51|
|3||Gerard de Rooy||Iveco||02:10:06||00:02:32|
2013 Dakar Rally overall standings after stage five
|2||Ignacio Nicolas Casale||Yamaha||14:39:28||01:18:32|
|5||Sarel van Biljon||E-ATV||15:19:16||01:58:20|
|3||Giniel de Villiers||Toyota||11:29:22||00:33:50|
|1||Gerard de Rooy||Iveco||13:04:43|