CAR news from stage 9

10.01.2012: DAKAR 2012 - Argentina/Chile - Stage 9 January 10th, 2012 14:08 - car 309 - Leal Dos Santos fifth at zone 1 finish Portugal's Ricardo Leal Dos Santos finished the first zone of the special in fifth, behind Gordon, Peterhansel

DAKAR 2012 - Argentina/Chile - Stage 9  January 10th, 2012

14:08 - car 309 - Leal Dos Santos fifth at zone 1 finish

Portugal's Ricardo Leal Dos Santos finished the first zone of the special in fifth, behind Gordon, Peterhansel, Holowczyc and Roma, trailing the day's leader by 8'43” but ahead of Giniel De Villiers who is 11'00” behind, and Carlos Sousa, who is 14'30” behind. Leonid Novitskiy is eighth, 17'05” behind.

13:40 - car 303 - Gordon in imposing form at zone 1 finish

Robby Gordon has achieved the best time of the first part of today's special. Stephane Peterhansel has limited the American's comeback in the general standings with a second place 35” behind Gordon.

The Frenchman seems in control of the race by regaining some time on his main rival and neutralising the gaps in the general standings that had built up. Poland's Holowczic is 2'35” behind the Hummer and Nani Roma trails the leader by 4'36”.

12:48 - car 303 - Top 4 unchanged at CP4

Robby Gordon still leads the car special in front of Stephane Peterhansel. The gap is 2'11” between the leaders. Third-placed man Krzysztof Holowczyc trails the day's leader by 5'32” and Nani Roma in fourth position is 5'58” behind.

12:46 - car ,Robby Gordon leads Peterhansel at CP3!

2'55” separate the leader, American Robby Gordon, and his main pursuer, Stephane Peterhansel, meaning this stage is currently also a fight for command of the general standings on four wheels... For the moment, Hummer No. 303 is gaining time back on the general standings leader...

The situation behind the two main is as follows: Holowczyc is 3'55” behind in third place, Nani Roma fourth, 5'29” behind, Ricardo Leal Dos Santos trails by 6'36” in fifth and Leonid Novitskiy is in sixth 8'52” behind. Giniel de Villiers is in seventh position, 9'16” behind, in front of Carlos Sousa 11'13” behind.

12:24 - car 300 - Has Nasser Al-Attiyah thrown in the towel?

Due to an insurmountable problem with his alternator drive belt, on the face of it, Nasser Al-Attiyah seems to have decided to throw in the towel after 174 km of the firs section of the day's special.

11:57 - car 300 - Alternator problems for Al-Attiyah?

Nasser Al-Attiyah has stopped regularly since the start of the special, on at least three occasions, losing several minutes each time. It seems that he has problems with his alternator drive belt which needs to be readjusted regularly. In spite of this, he boasted a fine second-placed time at CP2.

11:40 - car  Gordon and Al-Attiyah lead the Minis at CP2

With a total time of 1:19'19”, Robby Gordon has been the quickest driver at CP2 (after the first third of the special) ahead of his team-mate Nasser Al-Attiyah, who nonetheless lost time when stopping briefly after 88 km. The gap between the two men is 2'29”.

Following them, the first Mini is driven by Polish driver Holowczic, 22” behind the Qatari. Stephane Peterhansel, 3'19” behind the day's quickest man, is fourth, ahead of Leal Dos Santos (4'17” behind), Roma (4'40” behind), Novitskiy (5'23” behind), De Villiers (6'48” behind) and Sousa (7'41” behind).

10:49 - car 300 - Al-Attiyah at a standstill again... but then back on his way

At 10.37 local time, the Qatari driver's Hummer stopped after 88 kilometres of the day's first special, for between three and five, before resuming racing.

10:43 - car 302 - Peterhansel on the attack at CP1

The Frenchman leading the general standings in the car category has also been the quickest over the first section (approximately 13 kilometres) of the special. He leads Poland's Holowczyc by 4”, Portugal's Leal Dos Santos by 12”, Leonid Novitskiy by 16” and Nani Roma by 18”.

In sixth position, Nasser Al-Attiyah trails the day's current leader by 22”, but is a short distance ahead of his team-mate Robby Gordon, since only one second separates the two Hummers. Giniel de Villiers and Carlos Souza follow, both less than four seconds behind the American.

09:55 - car The cars are on their way to Iquique

Nani Roma is opening the road for the 110 crews authorised to start in the car category. He will have to keep an eye on his rear-view and wing mirrors, however, because he will be closely followed by the Hummer of Robby Gordon, who has promised to fight tooth and nail to catch up with the leader of the general standings, Stephane Peterhansel.

With Polish driver Holowczyc, these will be the four men to watch today, without forgetting a new exploit by Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah, who has also sworn to do his utmost to get back into the reckoning, despite trailing the general standings leader by 42'54”.

18:36 Antofagasta-Iquique: racing on the Ring of Fire

Marc Coma seizing the lead in the motorcycle classification without getting a decisive gap on his teammate Cyril Despres... The hierarchy in the car category, slowly changing while suspense runs high... A battle of titans between Iveco, Tatra and Kamaz...

And the ambitious Argentineans producing a show in the quad caravan... Without a shadow of a doubt, there is still much to be written about the 2012 Dakar. The next few days will be rich in stories of men and races. Tuesday's stage has a very short (9 km) liaison as an appetiser before a 556-kilometre-long selective sector, which will be divided into two parts separated by a neutralised section. This is the menu of the ninth stage of the 2012 Dakar, with different characteristics and backgrounds.

The first part of the stage is quite fast, with some areas of fesh-fesh, a type of fine dust resembling flour. The second special will test the navigational skills of motorcyclists and co-pilots alike, who will have to find their way with very few landmarks to help them, while accurately determining the position of the mandatory waypoints.

Their reward for this exercise in concentration will be a plunge to the shores of the Pacific down the great descent of Iqique, which already featured in the 2010 Dakar.

copyright ASO



10.01.2012 / MaP

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