Al-Attiyah back in control as Sainz Sr. suffers suspension issues

by Vince Pettit

The third day of the 2019 Dakar Rally saw another change for the overall lead as day 2 leader Giniel de Villiers lost four and a half hours after stopping on stage.

Stephane Peterhansel fought back from a disappointing day 2 which saw him lose 20 minutes, the Dakar legend was fastest through the San Juan de Marcona-Arequipa test, 3 minutes and 26 seconds ahead of Toyota’s Nasser Al-Attiyah.

Peterhansels performance saw him jump from thirteenth in the standings to third overall.

Al-Attiyah’s second place was enough to take him back in to the overall lead, ahead of the X-Raid Mini of Yazeed Al-Raji who finished fourth on stage.

Nani Roma lost 18 minutes on stage, dropping down to fourth overall ahead of Jakub Przygonski.

Sébastien Loeb had a tough day as he lost out by 42 minutes to his former team-mate Petterhansel, the disappointing day dropped him to eighth overall, 38 minutes off of the pace of Al-Attiyah.

2018 Dakar winner Carlos Sainz Sr.‘s hopes of defending his title were left in tatters after breaking the front-left suspension of his X-Raid Mini, losing 3 hours and 15 minutes as he and co-driver Lucas Cruz did their best to repair the car.

Britains Harry Hunt dropped to twelfth in the overall standings, just behind former WRC regular Martin Prokop.

Motorcycles / Quads / SXS / Trucks

Credit: Antonin Vincent

Pablo Quintanilla moved up in to the lead of the Motorcycle class as Xavier de Soultrait claimed his first Dakar stage victory.

Former leader Joan Barreda was forced to retire from the event after getting stuck 89 miles in to the stage.

Matthias Walkner, Ricky Brabec and Toby Price all dropped time after getting lost, meaning Kevin Benavides moved up from eighth in the overall times to second, just ahead of British rider Sam Sunderland.

Jeremias Gonzalez took stage victory in the quad’s, ending Nicolas Cavigliasso stage winning streak. Despite the result the Argentinian remains in control by nearly 30 minutes over Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli and Gustavo Gallego.

Francisco Lopez Contardo and Alvero Juan Leon Quintanilla usurped Brazilian duo Reinaldo Varela and Gustavo Gugelmin from the overall lead in the SxS class with Sergei Kariakin and Anton Vlasiuk in third.

Eduard Nikolaev/Evgenii Iakovlev/Vladimir Rybakov remain at the top of the standings for the Truck class while team-mates Andrey Karginov/Andrey Mokeev/Igor Leonov took the stage victory. Dmitry Sotnikov/Dmitri Nikitin/Ilnur Mustafin are in second place with ederico Villagra/Adrian Arturo Yacopini/Ricardo Adrian Torlaschi who remain in third.

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