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Loeb, Elena take Dakar stage 6 but Al Attiyah, Baumel Hilux team moves to top of the log

Loeb, Elena take Dakar stage 6 but Al Attiyah, Baumel Hilux team moves to top of the log

After the sixth stage of the Dakar rally on Sunday, Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel in a Hilux have moved to the top of the log. Racing as one of three Hilux teams in the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA stable, the two finished second on Stage 6, just over two minutes after stage winners Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena in a Peugeot. Al Attiyah and Baumel now have a lead of 38 minutes.

Stage 6 covered a distance of 309 km and more than 500 km of liaison. It ended at the bivouac point in San Juan de Marcona where stage 2 ended and which served as the start and finish of several other stages.

After arriving at the bivouac, Al Attiyah commented on the stage’s difficulty saying they were leading for most of the stage, but then made a navigational error which cost them time and put the Loeb, Elena team in front.

On the log, Al Attiyah and Baumel are 37:43 clear of Loeb and Elena, who are now in second position. Overall third are Stephane Peterhansel and David Castera in a Mini.

Early leaders, Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz, who lost more than 4 hours in stage 3 after hitting a rock, pulled out all stops to make a come-back. The two set the 8th fastest time on stage 6, taking them to 18th position overall. They also drive a Hilux in the Gazoo group.

The same can be said for teammates Bernhard ten Brinke and Xavier Panseri, who spent most of the stage in third position. They too, lost some time near the end of the stage, going ninth-fastest and moving into 9th position in the overall standings.

“I’m not sure that it can be much tougher than Stage 6 in terms of the terrain,” explained Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall from the bivouac at San Juan de Marcona. “But the crews will be covering terrain that was used in previous stages, so there will be many confusing tracks, which could make navigation a challenge.”

Stage 7 is a looped stage of 323 km, starting and finishing at the bivouac in San Juan de Marcona. Three more stages will follow, before the event draws to a close on 17 January 2019 in the capital city, Lima.


1. Al Attiyah / Baumel (Hilux)

2. Loeb / Elena (Peugeot) +37:43

3. Peterhansel / Castera (Mini) +41:14

4. Roma / Haro (Mini) +45:24

5. Despres / Cottret (Mini) +01:19:09

6. Przygonski / Colsoul (Mini) +02:03:10

7. Prokop / Tomanek (Ford) +02:31:02

8. Al Rajhi / Gottschalk (Mini) +04:01:19

9. Ten Brinke / Panseri (Hilux ) +04:18:44

10. Vanagas / Rozwadowski (Toyota) +05:06:50


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SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.