For the second stage in a row and third time in the event overall, Sebastien Loeb wheeled his privateer Peugeot to a stage victory in the 2019 Dakar Rally on Sunday. Loeb bested the over 800-kilometer trek from Arequipa to San Juan de Marcona, the longest stage of the rally, with a time of 3:39:21, two minutes and 17 seconds ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah.
The stage win enabled Loeb to narrow the gap slightly to Al-Attiyah atop the event standings. The Toyota Gazoo Racing driver’s overall time of 21:01:31 is 37 minutes and 43 seconds ahead of Loeb. Dakar legend Stephane Peterhansel, who made the switch to an X-Raid Mini for this year’s event, completes the Cars podium as they run, a further three minutes and 31 seconds behind Loeb. After a wheel fire in Stage 3, defending Dakar winner Carlos Sainz has clawed back to 11th overall with finishes of 11th or better in each of the past three days.
On the bikes, the battle between Pablo Quintanilla and Ricky Brabec rages on as the Chilean took the overall lead with a stage win over Kevin Benavides and defending champion Matthias Walkner today. Quintanilla now leads Brabec, who finished seventh on Sunday’s ride, by 4:38 in the overall standings. Toby Price, last year’s bronze medalist, holds the same position through six stages of this year’s event, but is within just 39 seconds of Brabec for second place.
Chaleco Lopez took his second Side-by-Side stage victory of this year’s event when he beat Gerard Farres by 12:31 in Sunday’s action. But Farres now leads the overall rankings, boasting a 13:31 advantage over Sergei Kariakin in second and 32:36 lead over third place Reinaldo Varela, the defending event champion. American Casey Currie completed the top three on today’s stage, his best stage finish thus far; the strong result allowed him to climb back to sixth in the overall standings, where he also trails Lopez and Rodrigo Moreno.
In the Trucks, Gerard de Rooy scored his first Dakar stage victory since skipping last year’s event with a 30-second win over teammate Federico Villagra. Eduard Nikolaev maintains the class lead by 10:13 over Kamaz teammate Dmitry Sotnikov. In Quad action, Argentina’s Nicolas Cavigliasso remains on a different level from the field; he won his fifth stage in six tries today, and leads Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli in the overall standings by more than an hour with just four stages remaining.