Dakar Cars, top 10 in photos

The Dakar competitors have finally reached a well-deserved rest day after a week of grueling action. We take this opportunity to give a run down of the top 10 drivers in the Car class, featured in all of their Dakar splendor.

1. Sébastien Loeb, Peugeot Sport

1. Sébastien Loeb, Peugeot Sport
1/10

Did he ever really mean any of the talk of "learning" and "being afraid"? And does it really matter? Even if he should retire from the rally tomorrow, the French genius has already made a stunning first impression at Dakar.

2. #302 Peugeot: Stéphane Peterhansel, Jean-Paul Cottret

2. #302 Peugeot: Stéphane Peterhansel, Jean-Paul Cottret
2/10

It is unclear whether Peterhansel has the out-and-out pace of Loeb and Carlos Sainz, but he's stayed quick enough - and hasn't made mistakes. It'll be tough to bet against the 11-time Dakar winner heading into the more traditional week two.

3. #303 Peugeot: Carlos Sainz, Lucas Cruz

3. #303 Peugeot: Carlos Sainz, Lucas Cruz
3/10

Engine troubles have forced Sainz to play catch-up from the get-go and he still hasn't levelled with his teammates - but he's getting closer with each day.

4. #300 Mini: Nasser Al-Attiyah and Matthieu Baumel

4. #300 Mini: Nasser Al-Attiyah and Matthieu Baumel
4/10

The Qatari wasn't a pre-race favorite for nothing and he's usually best of the rest behind the Peugeots. Unfortunately, beating those Peugeots on pure pace does not seem plausible.

Photo by: X-Raid Team

5. #315 Mini: Mikko Hirvonen, Michel Perin

5. #315 Mini: Mikko Hirvonen, Michel Perin
5/10

While all eyes have been on Loeb, former WRC rival Hirvonen has more than held his own in the Mini camp - always up there, staying out of trouble and matching his vastly more experienced teammates.

Photo by: X-Raid Team

6. #301 Toyota: Giniel de Villiers, Dirk Von Zitzewitz

6. #301 Toyota: Giniel de Villiers, Dirk Von Zitzewitz
6/10

The Toyotas were earmarked as potential favorites for this year's route, but it's just not been happening so far. All credit to de Villiers, however - he was expected to lead the squad and that's what he's doing.

7. #319 Toyota: Leeroy Poulter, Robert Howie

7. #319 Toyota: Leeroy Poulter, Robert Howie
7/10

With just two previous Dakars under his belt, Poulter has done a very nice job thus far - and has even led the Toyota contingent for quite a bit.

Photo by: A.S.O.

8. Yazeed Al-Rajhi

8. Yazeed Al-Rajhi
8/10

Al-Rajhi became a household name virtually overnight in 2015 by challening the usual frontrunners in his first Dakar. He's yet to reach the same heights this year, but isn't far off his teammates.

Photo by: A.S.O.

9. #307 Toyota: Vladimir Vasilyev, Konstantin Zhiltsov

9. #307 Toyota: Vladimir Vasilyev, Konstantin Zhiltsov
9/10

Vasilyev looked mighty strong in the lead-up to Dakar, but has been rather quiet in the event itself thus far. The second week might be more to his liking.

Photo by: G-Drive Racing

10. #317 Renault: Emiliano Spataro, Benjamin Lozada

10. #317 Renault: Emiliano Spataro, Benjamin Lozada
10/10

It was the experienced Christian Lavieille who was supposed to lead the Renaults in this year's edition, but Spataro proved he is no pushover - although it will be tough for him to hold on to a top-10 result.

Photo by: willyweyens.com
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About this article
Series Dakar
Event Dakar 2016
Drivers Carlos Sainz , Sébastien Loeb , Stéphane Peterhansel , Giniel de Villiers , Mikko Hirvonen , Nasser Al-Attiyah , Yazeed Al-Rajhi , Vladimir Vasilyev , Emiliano Spataro , Leeroy Poulter
Teams Peugeot Sport , X-Raid Team
Article type Top List