Stage 7 Mendoza to Valparaiso notes

Stage 7 Friday 9 January 2009 Mendoza to Valparaiso * Connection 80 km * Special 419 km * Connection 317 km Times given in G.M.T. -3 14:02 - Car Summary of stage 7 Pending validation of the results by the race stewards, Spaniard ...

Stage 7
Friday 9 January 2009
Mendoza to Valparaiso

* Connection 80 km
* Special 419 km
* Connection 317 km

Times given in G.M.T. -3

14:02 - Car
Summary of stage 7

Pending validation of the results by the race stewards, Spaniard Carlos Sainz (VW) has won the 7th stage, picking up his 3rd stage victory of this 31st Dakar, 3.41 ahead of his American team-mate Mark Miller (VW) and 4.13 in front of American Robby Gordon and his Hummer. As a result, in the general standings "El Matador" Sainz has taken the lead, 9 short seconds ahead of his South African team-mate Giniel De Villiers and 13.53 in front of the Race Touareg belonging to Miller, putting the 3 Volkswagens in the first 3 places! Worthy of note, the 9 times winner of the event Stephane Peterhansel again suffered problems today. After a fire in the engine of his Mitsubishi Racing Lancer, the Frenchman has now lost all chance of grabbing a 10th victory on his 20th Dakar. In the Open category, Robby Gordon (Hummer) was again victorious and is the undisputed category leader in the general standings. Finally, in the Production category, Japanese driver Jun Mitsuhashi (Toyota) won the stage, but still only managed to claw back 10.20 on Frenchman Nicolas Gibon (Toyota) who retains a solid lead in the category in the general standings.

14:01 - Bike
Summary of stage 7

Pending validation of the results by the race stewards, Chilean Francisco Lopez (KTM) has won the 7th stage, picking up his 1st success on the Dakar, 3.57 ahead of the leader of the general standings, Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM) and 5.21 in front of France's Cyril Despres (KTM). As a result, in the general standings Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM) carries on opening up a gap at the top of the rankings, with a 51.22 lead over American Jonah Street (KTM), still leader in the marathon category, and a 52.31 lead over Frenchman David Fretigne (Yamaha), leader of the 450cc category.

14:00 - Quad
Summary of stage 7

Pending validation of the results by the race stewards, Argentine Marcos Patronelli (Can Am) has won the 7th stage, picking up his 1st success on the Dakar, 14.01 ahead of Uruguayan Luis Henderson (Suzuki) and 20.22 in front of Poland's Rafal Sonik (Yamaha). As a result, in the general standings Czech rider Josef Machacek (Yamaha) is way out in the lead, 2:27.32 ahead of Patronelli and 2:38.27 in front of Polish rider Sonik.

13:00 - Car
300 - Breakdown for "Peter"!

After a fire in his engine at the beginning of the day, then overheating problems, the title holder, Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel (Mitsubihsi) is currently halted on the special stage, due to a broken engine and is waiting to have his car towed out of the timed section. This could be the second abandon due to mechanical problems for the Frenchman, 9 times winner of the event and who is taking part in the Dakar for the 20th time.

12:45 - Car
301 - 3rd victory for Sainz

Now that the first 5 cars have finished the day's special stage, Spaniard Carlos Sainz (VW) is the provisional winner, 3.41 ahead of his American team-mate Mark Miller and 4.13 in front of another American, Robby Gordon and his Hummer.

12:15 - Quad
258 - Declerck is waiting for the broom wagon

The winner of the first two special stages and leader of the general standings for four stages, Frenchman Christophe Declerck (Yamaha) has broken the front axle on his quad after 45 km of the day's special and is now waiting for the broom wagon.

11:55 - Car
301 - Sainz still in the lead after 139 km

Now that the first 7 cars have completed 139 km of the day's special stage, Spaniard Carlos Sainz (VW) is still in the lead, 1.45 ahead of his countryman Nani Roma (Mitsubishi) and 2.57 in front of American Mark Miller (VW).

11:30 - Quad
273 - Patronelli fist!

The first 6 quads have finished the day's special stage and Marcos Patronelli (Can Am) has posted the best time, 14.01 ahead of Uruguayan Luis Henderson (Suzuki) and 20.22 in front of Poland's Rafal Sonik (Yamaha). As a result, the Argentine has picked up his first stage victory on the Dakar.

11:15 - Car
300 - "Peter" still having problems

After a fire in the engine of his Mitsubishi after 57 km, Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel reached the 91-km mark on the day's special 10.40 behind the provisional leader, Spaniard Carlos Sainz. The title holder had to stop again after 80 km due to his engine overheating.

11:11 - Car
309 - Gordon in provisional 2nd place after 91 km

Not that the first 15 cars have completed 91 km of the day's special stage, American Robby Gordon (Hummer) has been credited with the 2nd best time, 9 seconds behind Spaniard Carlos Sainz (VW) but 1.04 in front of his countryman Mark Miller (VW).

10:50
301 - Sainz leads after 91 km

Now that the first 3 cars have completed 91 km of the day's special stage, Spaniard Carlos Sainz (VW) is in the lead, 1.13 ahead of American Mark Miller (VW) and 1.37 in front of Spaniard Nani Roma (Mitsubishi) and the leader of the general standings, South African Giniel De Villiers (VW), both currently tied for third place.

10:41 - Car
300 - Peterhansel on fire!

Due to a fire in the engine of his Mitsubihsi Racing Lancer, Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel, the title holder, has stopped after 57 km of the day's special. The driver and co-pilot have managed to put the fire out, but do not know if they will be able to set off again.

09:45 - Car
305 - The car race is underway...

The winner of yesterday's special stage and the new leader of the general standings, South African Giniel De Villiers (VW) kicked off proceedings for the day's special in the car category, at 09.43 as scheduled and was followed 2 minutes later by his team-mate, American Mark Miller (VW).

09:26 - Bike
20 - Lopez provisionally wins the special stage

The first 3 bikes have finished the day's special stage and Chilean Francisco Lopez (KTM) has posted the best time, 3.57 ahead of Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM) and 5.21 in front of Frenchman Cyril Despres (KTM). As a result, the man nicknamed "Chaleco" in the bivouac has picked up his first stage victory on the rally, but also his first on the Dakar.

08:35 - Bike
20 - Lopez leads after 139 km

Now that the first 3 bikes have completed 139 km of the day's special stage, Chilean Francisco Lopez (KTM) is in the lead, 53 seconds ahead of Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM), and 2.49 in front of Frenchman Cyril Despres (KTM).

07:56 - Bike
2 - Coma provisionally leads after 91 km

Now that the first 5 bikes have completed 91 km of the day's special stage, Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM), leader of the general standings, is in the lead, 3 seconds ahead of Chilean Francisco Lopez (KTM) and 1.25 in front of Frenchman Cyril Despres (KTM).

07:21 - Car
305 - REMINDER: Giniel De Villiers is the new general standings leader

Following the disqualification of Qatari Nasser Al-Attyah (BMW) at the end of the 6th stage yesterday, now South African Giniel De Villiers (VW) leads this 31st Dakar rally, 7.39 ahead of Spaniard Carlos Sainz (VW) and 17.51 in front of American Mark Miller (VW), which means the Volkswagens occupy the first three places! In 4th position, Spain's Nani Roma is the leading Mitsubishi driver, 31.18 behind the race leader, but 3.09 in front of his French team-mate Stephane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi), who received a 15 minute penalty after having arrived at the bivouac in San Rafael towed by one of his team-mates.

07:01
ROUTE MODIFICATION

Due to the difficulties encountered on the last section of dunes in the 6th stage yesterday, the organizers have decided to make a few alterations to the day's stage. As a result, the route has been shortened and the finishing line of the special stage has been moved to the initially planned CP1. The day's special will therefore only be 243.36 km, and will only involve the bikes and cars. In fact, the truck special has been cancelled, so the heavy duty machines will go straight to Valaparaiso, in Chile, on a link stage.

06:46
READY, STEADY, GO!

Hello and welcome. The winner of yesterday's bike special, Frenchman Cyril Despres (KTM), has kicked off proceedings for the day's special at 06.40 as scheduled, followed 2 minutes later by the leader of the general standings, Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM).

06:11
Stage 7: Mendoza -- Valparaiso

There are 815 km on the menu of the 7th stage, including a 419.31-km timed section. After two difficult days, the competitors will be happy to get to the rest day in Valparaiso, but prior to that, they must again tackle the dunes and the fesh-fesh, before finishing off with a climb into the Andes to 3000 m altitude... These extreme conditions are likely to make men and machines suffer, especially due to the thinner air. In all the categories, the contestants who have been able to save the most energy since the start should take advantage to open up the last gaps before getting to grips with the second week of the race...

-credit: aso

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Mark Miller , Carlos Sainz , Stéphane Peterhansel , Cyril Despres , Nani Roma , Marc Coma , Jonah Street , Francisco Lopez , Nicolas Gibon , Josef Machacek , Rafal Sonik , Christophe Declerck