The seventh stage of the rally-marathon “Dakar”, which opened the second half of the race, did not make major changes in the balance of power. Stephane Peterhansel strengthened leadership in the category of SUVs, and trucks second victory scored by the team “KAMAZ-Master”.
From-for difficult weather conditions the route from La Paz to Uyuni was reduced by half in combat mode, participants broke just 161 km away, and the remaining 640 km occurred in the road section. Despite such a short special stage, the seventh stage became a real test for the crews, because after the finish they were left to themselves and deprived of technical assistance teams. Fortunately, unlike the previous days there were no serious accidents and breakdowns.
In the standings SUVs once again its advantage is demonstrated by Peugeot. Stephane Peterhansel and Sebastien Loeb was firmly in two positions throughout the DOPA. The defending winner from the start took the lead and up to 80 kilometers ahead of team mate more than a minute, but during the second half of the race nine-time world rally champion added, and at the finish behind compatriot 48 seconds.
“In the dunes it was very difficult to navigate and find waypoints. But we did a good job – said Loeb after the stage. – Overall the day was fine. I don’t know how I made others, but we minimised the loss of time is a good sign. Stefan is usually very good on these stages, so we can’t complain”.
Became the third racer Toyota Giniel de Villiers lost to a team Peugeot no less than three minutes. The fourth stage completed, Mikko Hirvonen, despite the fact that for 8 km to go the Mini driver punctured tire, and the last meters of the distance traveled on the rim.
As for the fight for third place in the General classification, here came forward Nani Roma. The Spaniard, who plays for the Toyota, was only fifth, but this result was enough to stay ahead of despres, who finished in seventh position and even give him three minutes, not to mention nine against Peterhansel.
In the category of trucks second victory after the best time Eduard Nikolaev in third stage was won by the team “KAMAZ-Master”. Anton Shibalov has left behind a trio of riders at the Iveco Tony Genugten, Federico Villagra and overall leader Gerard de Rooy. And the last time he played almost four and a half minutes in the General classification now loses two minutes, by the standards of rallies almost nothing.
Eduard Nikolaev, Ayrat Mardeev, Anton Shibalov and showed the seventh, eighth and ninth time, respectively. In the overall ranking Mardeev and Nikolaev continue to hold positions in the top five, while Shibalov is the eighth.
Pleasant event for Russian fans occurred in the category of ATVs. Having won his first victory at “Dakar-2017”, Sergey Karjakin is back in first place in the overall standings. Rider from Ekaterinburg ahead of almost three minutes nearest rival Axel Guthrie and played from 13.5 minutes by the main opponent Simon Vítsa, which is now ahead by five minutes in the General classification.
“Today drove well, won the special stage, – said Sergey on his page “Vkontakte”. – Rolled into its rhythm, riding without mistakes and no equipment breakdowns – that’s the result. Now we have finished the Quad bike, lubed the chain, changed the oil, and so on. Tomorrow the second part of the marathon, have to drive 1000 km in Terrible weather conditions – driving on the special stage you pouring freezing rain with hail on the street +2, and special stage the temperature rises to +20. How to dress for all weather conditions? Hot and then cold… do it, else I have no choice.
Rivals – Vítsa and Dutra – go fast, but the “ears”. Provoked them today as soon as I could. Let’s see what happens tomorrow, still too fast, I will not go.”
In offset motovezdehodov third victory at the “Dakar” won Ravil Maganov. However, in the overall standings, the Russians continued to occupy the fourth place with a lag of five minutes from the leader Leandro of Torres.
In the category of motorcycles a double victory was won by Honda riders. Debutant Ricky Brabeck claimed his first stage victory of the Dakar, ahead less than two minutes Paulo Goncalves.
The overall leader Sam Sunderland, despite an error in navigation, finished third and pulled away for another six minutes from the main pursuer of Pablo Quintanilla.
Alexander Ivanyutin finished 45th, and Anastasia Nifontova took 90 th place.
“Today was a hell of 160 km SU, – said Anastasia on his page in Facebook. – Stir the wet heavy sand mixed with camel grass and hard bumps. My back is “dead” somewhere in the middle, so in the end the voice howled in pain. All this happened at the height of 4000m, and seven times I just stopped to five minutes to breathe. Just today down the left more than 700km. Tomorrow departure at 6:00 and more than 900km, of which SU about 490км”.
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