Dakar Cars, Stage 11: Al-Attiyah beats Loeb, Peterhansel still leads

Nasser Al-Attiyah took his second victory of the 2016 Dakar in Thursday's 11th stage of the event.

The Mini driver won from Peugeot rival Sebastien Loeb, who finished the stage being towed by Cyril Despres after his car stopped right at the end.

Rally leader Stephane Peterhansel finished in fourth, taking another step towards overall victory on Saturday.

Today's 431-km special ran from La Rioja to San Juan, as the Dakar contingent continued moving south toward Rosario, where the event will finish on Saturday.

Loeb and Peterhansel were evenly matched for most of the stage, with the nine-time WRC champion leading at the first four waypoints before Al-Attiyah went quickest at WP5.

The Qatari continued to lead when cars reached the first control point of the day, outpacing Peterhansel by nine seconds and Loeb by 14.

By the fourth and final control point, Al-Attiyah extended his advantage over Loeb to 1m38s and over Peterhansel by nearly five.

But Loeb's challenge for stage victory took a hit near the end, when the Frenchman's Peugeot stopped after the final waypoint, less than 2km from the finish line.

Loeb's car had to be towed to the finish by teammate Despres.

Luckily for the former, both Despres and the finish were nearby and he still ended up provisionally quickest until Al-Attiyah reached the end of the stage.

The reigning champion won with a time of 4h49m16s, beating Loeb by 5m52s and Mikko Hirvonen by 7m01s.

Peterhansel lost 8m05s to Al-Attiyah but still holds a healthy 52-minute lead with two stages remaining.

The only change in the top 10 after today's stage is Roma moving in front of Despres and into sixth position. 

Standings after Stage 11:

Pos.No.Driver

Car

Time/Gap
1 302 Stephane Peterhansel
Jean-Paul Cottret

Peugeot

37h42m20s
2 300

Nasser Al-Attiyah

Matthieu Baumel

Mini

51m55s
3 301

Giniel de Villiers

Dirk von Zitzewitz

Toyota

1h17m24s
4 315

Mikko Hirvonen

Michel Perin

Mini

1h22m47s
5 319

Leeroy Poulter

Robert Howie

Toyota

1h46m36s
6 304

Nani Roma

Alex Haro

Mini

1h54m34s
7 321

Cyril Despres

David Castera

Peugeot

1h56m53s
8 307

Vladimir Vasilyev

Konstantin Zhiltsov

Toyota

2h11m31s
9 314

Sebastien Loeb

Daniel Elena

Peugeot

2h25m18s
10 323

Harry Hunt

Andy Schulz

Mini

2h48m02s

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About this article
Series Dakar
Event Dakar 2016
Article type Stage report