Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret in their X-Raid Mini ALL4 Racing held onto the lead of the Dakar after six stages, with Red Bull Buggy racer Nasser Al-Attiyah and his navigator Lucas Cruz close behind.
Al-Attiyah’s Red Bull teammate Carlos Sainz retired from the event with engine problems. He had been declared the leader after stage two because of a problem with the Dakar organizers’ GPS system, but the decision was later reversed, instantly demoting him to tenth. He dropped back further, but was recovering before the engine failure.
Special stage six was the first run in Chile. Competitors had a short night’s sleep because of a change in time zones as they left Peru; they lost two hours when they crossed the border.
Al-Attiyah won the stage with an eight minute margin over Peterhansel, who got stuck in a sand dune early in the day. X-Raid’s Orlando Terranova and Paulo Fiúza finished fourth in their X3, and the team’s Leonid Novitskiy and Konstantin Zhiltsov finished fifth in their Mini. Mini’s Nani Roma and Michel Périn suffered a huge setback when they lost an hour digging out of the sand.
Going into stage seven on Friday Peterhansel led Al-Attiyah by just one minute and eighteen seconds. Novitskiy was fourth overall, Roma was sixth despite his stage six time, and Terranova was tenth.
Up-to-date results are available on the Dakar web site, and the X-Raid team’s progress can be tracked on its web site. The NBC Sports Network is providing nightly updates at 2:00 AM eastern time.—Brian S. MorganBack to News