Dakar Cars, Stage 2: Loeb takes shock win, problems for Sainz

WRC legend Sebastien Loeb took a shock victory on the second stage of the Dakar Rally, the Peugeot driver grabbing the overall lead as the event finally got properly underway.

Nine-time World Rally champion Loeb, competing in his first Dakar, controlled the day right from the start, leading at the first and second control points before emerging on top at the end of a shortened stage.

The route for cars was shortened from the original 510km to 387km given the poor weather conditions, which had already forced the cancellation of the first proper stage on Sunday.

Loeb secured his first stage victory in 3h45m46s, beating teammate and Dakar legend Stephane Peterhansel by 2m23s and Toyota's Vladimir Vasilyev and Giniel de Villiers by 2m38s and 3m01s respectively.

Another former WRC driver and Dakar debutant, Mikko Hirvonen, also put on a stellar performance to secure fifth on the day, 3m05s behind Loeb and top of the Minis.

Toyota's Leeroy Poulter was sixth ahead of Cyril Despres in the third Peugeot and last year's winner Nasser Al-Attiyah.

WRC regular Martin Prokop also shone in the third Toyota, winding up ninth, ahead of Dutchman Bernhard Ten Brinke in another Toyota and local Emiliano Spartaro in the Renault. 

Loeb's Peugeot teammate Carlos Sainz lost over 12 minutes after his engine stopped 112km into the stage.

The Spaniard, however, did well to regain some of the time lost and finished 11 minutes behind Loeb in the end.

The mud caused havoc among several of the top runners, with 2014 winner Nani Roma losing over 40 minutes after getting stuck at the 183-km mark.

Local hero Orlando Terranova and Dakar debutant Xevi Pons had similar problems and lost over 20 and 50 minutes in the mud.

Standings after Stage 2:

Pos.No.Driver

Car

Time/Gap
1 314

Sebastien Loeb

Daniel Elena

Peugeot

3h52m03s
2 302

Stephane Peterhansel
Jean-Paul Cottret

Peugeot

2m23s
3 307

Vladimir Vasilyev

Konstantin Zhiltsov

Toyota

2m42s
4 301

Giniel de Villiers

Dirk von Zitzewitz

Toyota

3m01s
5 315

Mikko Hirvonen

Michel Perin

Mini

3m03s
6 319

Leeroy Poulter

Robert Howie

Toyota

3m40s
7 321

Cyril Despres

David Castera

Peugeot

4m00s
8 300

Nasser Al-Attiyah

Matthieu Baumel

Mini

4m14s
9 329

Martin Prokop

Jan Tomanek

Toyota

4m29s
10 311

Bernhard ten Brinke

Tom Colsoul

Toyota

4m53s

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