After a steady start on the opening day of the 2019 Dakar Rally, Sébastien Loeb stormed to victory on the second stage run between Pisco and San Juan de Marcona in Peru.
Loeb and Co-driver Daniel Elena pushed on through the stage, setting an impressive pace until the final stretch which saw them lose some time, finishing just 8 seconds in front of the X-raid Mini driver Nani Roma.
The stage victory moved the PH Sport-run 2017-spec Peugeot 3008 DKR up to fifth in the standings, putting them in the hunt for the lead of the rally, now just 1 minute 56 seconds from the front.
Bernhard ten Brinke put in a strong showing in the second half of the stage in his Toyota to challenge the pace of Loeb, but lost out due to the slower first half to Roma.
Toyota’s Giniel de Villiers took over the lead of the rally with a steady second day performance, finishing in fourth place as team-mate Nasser Al-Attiyah dropped down the running order to eighth in the overall standings.
De Villiers leads the rally with a gap of 28 seconds to ten Brinke, giving Toyota a one-two after two days. Roma and team-mate Yazeed Al-Rajhi occupy third and fourth place in their Mini 4×4’s.
Carlos Sainz Sr. battled with two punctures and a failure of the onboard tyre inflation/deflation controls to remain sixth overall in his X-Raid Mini buggy.
Britains Harry Hunt moved up two places in to seventh place in the PH Sport Peugeot 3008 DKR ahead of Cyril Despres and Vladimir Vasilyev.
Stephane Peterhansel showed strong pace but lost just over quarter of an hour due to a stoppage.
Orlando Terranova will take no further part in the rally after crashing out 111 miles in to the stage. The X-Raid Mini driver was airlifted to hospital in Ica suffering from pain in his lower back.
Motorcycles / Quads / SXS / Trucks
Joan Barrreda Bort remains in control of the motorcycle class despite Matthias Walkner taking the stage victory. American Ricky Brabec also put in a strong performance to finish the day ahead of Bort, the result means the Spaniard leads by just 1 minute 31 seconds over Walkner, with Brabec just 2 seconds behind.
Pablo Quintanilla dropped down to fourth place ahead of the KTM duo of Toby Price and Brit Sam Sunderland.
Nicolas Cavigliasso continues to lead the quad class with Gustavo Gallego and Alexandre Giroud moving in to second and third places.
In the SxS buggy class Francisco Lopez Contardo and Zlarao Juan Leon Quintanilla took the stage two victory, but Brazilian duo Reinaldo Varela and Gustavo Gugelmin continue to lead them in the overall standings, with Sergei Kariakin and Anton Vlasiuk in third.
Eduard Nikolaev/Evgenii Iakovlev/Vladimir Rybakov took another stage victory to end the second day at the top of the Trucks with Gerard de Rooy/Darek Rodewald/Moises Torrallardona moving in to in second ahead of Federico Villagra/Adrian Arturo Yacopini/Ricardo Adrian Torlaschi who remain in third.
Another 200+ miles faces competitors on day three as they head from San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa.