X-Raid’s Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret led the 2013 Dakar after eight stages of competition. Their lead over Nasser Al-Attiyah’s Red Bull buggy was three minutes and fourteen seconds going into stage nine on Monday.
On Sunday, a welcome rest day for competitors, Peterhansel’s Mini ALL4 Racing was one of four X-Raid cars in the top ten. Mini runners Leonid Novitskiy and Konstantin Zhiltsov were fourth, and Nani Roma and Michel Périn were seventh. Orlando Terranova and Paulo Fiúza were eighth in the team’s only X3.
Stage eight on Saturday was chaotic. The first 288 of the stage’s 471 kilometers were canceled when heavy rain turned dry river beds into raging rivers. But the rain caught up with the competitors at the new starting point, so only five cars finished the entire stage. The organizers allowed the times of the five competitors to stand, and assigned all of those who did not make it to the end the same time as Peterhansel, who was the slowest of those who finished.
Five stages remain, with forest, desert, and mountain terrain still to be run before the finish in Santiago on Saturday, January 19.
Nightly half-hour updates continue at 2:00 AM eastern time on the NBC Sports Network. Up-to-date results are available on the Dakar web site, and the X-Raid team’s progress can be tracked here.—Brian S. MorganBack to News