The second of last year will start at the third South American Dakar final on Saturday (January 15) in Argentina with a comfortable lead of 48 : 21 minutes on their Volkswagen teammates Giniel de Villiers /Dirk von Zitzewitz (South Africa /Karlshof) in the last 181 fastest kilometers in the direction of Buenos Aires.
VW before a triple victory at the Dakar Rally
As in the previous year, VW is on its way to a triple success. Last week's first week winner Carlos Sainz (Spain), who lost more than 70 minutes on Thursday due to a suspension damage, defended his third place with his sixth win on Friday (14.1.) (Deficit: 1:21:46 hours). The chances of fourth placed Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel (1:41:29 hours back) on a possible tenth Dakar victory were negated because of some tire damage on the BMW X3 of the X-Raid team from Trebur.
The previous one The royal stage of the 33rd Dakar Rally was shortened from 555 to 508 kilometers for the automobiles due to the slopes softened by heavy rainfall. The two-time rally world champion Sainz delivered another demonstration of his skills on the penultimate decision.
Sainz with an impressive performance
On the twelfth stage from San Juan to Cordoba, the 47-year-old Madrilene drove a lead of 2:43 minutes on De Villiers /Von Zitzewitz in his sixth stage win and 6:11 minutes on Al-Attiyah /Gottschalk. 'It doesn't matter whether it was second or third. For me, only the victory would have counted,' said the dethroned defending champion.
Nevertheless, Sainz was pleased with his 23rd Dakar day win: 'We had a lot Overtaking cars. Fortunately the dust was kept within limits and we encountered a lot of help. We got stuck behind one of the X-raid BMWs for a while. When we overtook it, we had a flat tire and had to pass it again. Now To be tied with Stéphane Peterhansel with 23 Dakar stage wins is a nice thing. I have to thank my mechanics for providing me with a perfect car. '
His team-mate Al-Attiyah gave in crossing the finish line that he had already dreamed of his first Dakar victory in between: '' Maintaining concentration today was anything but easy. It was a long special stage in which my thoughts wandered into the future. We havebut quickly found the rhythm and a good tempo that meant as little risk as possible. Tomorrow there will be another 180 kilometers of testing. I hope that we can enjoy it so comfortably in the lead and not get nervous. '
Kahle with tenth win of the day
Matthias Kahle and his co-driver Thomas Schünemann drove on the twelfth Dakar The German duo secured tenth place in the overall standings before the last stage, with Dutchman Eric van Loon (Mitsubishi Racing Lancer) behind them, with whom Kahle competed on the The twelfth stage was an exciting race that the German won with a wafer-thin six seconds at the end of the penultimate day. Bald's lead over van Loon is now 14.53 minutes.
Marc Coma from Spain is his third on the penultimate day of the rally Dakar triumph came a big step closer in the motorcycle classification after 2006 and 2009. With his fourth day win and his 27th stage win, he increased his lead slightly from 15:59 to 16:36 minutes on se in the first half of the leading French KTM colleague Cyril Despres, the winner in 2005, 2007 and 2010.