Defending champion Peterhansel takes lead in Dakar Rally | india | Hindustan Times
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Defending champion Peterhansel takes lead in Dakar Rally

india Updated: Jan 07, 2013 10:45 IST

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Defending champion Stephane Peterhansel overcame a 34-second overnight deficit to storm into the lead of the Dakar Rally on Sunday as former winners Carlos Sainz and Nasser al-Attiyah fell off the pace.

Frenchman Peterhansel, a 10-time champion on the world's toughest auto endurance race, took his Mini to victory on the second stage, a 242 kilometres timed run in and around Pisco, in 2 hours 35 minutes 38seconds.

South Africa's Giniel De Villiers, another experienced Dakar campaigner in his Toyota, was second on the day, 2 minutes 35 seconds behind while French driver Ronan Chabot, in an SMG, was third, 3 minutes 52seconds off Peterhansel's pace.

"We had a good stage, mainly thanks to navigation. We're fast, and we've got the potential to go even faster, but it was mostly (co-driver) Jean-Paul Cottret's navigation which saved the day, nothing else," said Peterhansel.

Overnight leader Sainz, the 2010 champion, endured a nightmare session, getting lost at the 75 kilometres mark, and finished outside of the top 10.

Buggy teammate al-Attiyah, the 2011 winner, was sixth on the stage, 11 minutes 37 seconds behind and is also sixth overall, more than 10 minutes behind Peterhansel.

Spain's Joan Barreda Bort, riding a Husqvarna, won the motorcycling stage and also took over the overall lead.

Barreda Bort won in a time of 2 hours 42 minutes 31 seconds with compatriot Juan Pedrero Garcia, on a KTM, in second place, 3 minutes 12 seconds behind.

Australia's Matt Fish, on another Husqvarna, was third, 5 minutes 53 seconds behind the leader.