Peterhansel Scores, Sainz Further Extends Dakar Lead

Stephane Peterhansel raced to victory in Friday's Dakar Rally stage. (Dakar Rally Photo)
Stephane Peterhansel raced to victory in Friday's Dakar Rally stage. (Dakar Rally Photo)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia –¬†Stephane Peterhansel raced to victory in Friday’s Dakar Rally stage while Carlos Sainz further extended his overall lead.

Peterhansel bested fellow Mini buggy driver Sainz by one minute and 21 seconds during the 477 kilometer stage. Nasser Al-Attiyah finished third in the stage and now trails Sainz for the overall lead by nearly eight minutes.

Ricky Brabec took top honors in the motorcycle class for the second time this year, allowing him to extend his lead at the top of the class. The American now holds a more than 20 minute lead over Pablo Quintanilla in the class rankings.

In the truck class, defending Dakar champion Eduard Nikolaev retired from the event due to persistent mechanical issues in his truck. The Russian had won the last three Dakar Rally events in the Truck class prior to his exit on Friday.

Meanwhile, Kamaz driver Andrey Karginov claimed the stage victory on Friday to extended his lead in the class to nearly 20 minutes over Anton Shibalov.

The SxS class saw Gerard Farres win the stage while Francisco Lopez and Casey Currie continue to battle for the class lead. Lopez finished second, one minute behind Farres, to take the class lead from Sergey Karyakin.

Currie now trails Lopez by 10 minutes, with Karayakin 20 minutes behind after entering the day as the division leader.

Simon Vitse topped the quad class on Friday, but Ignacio Casale continues to easily lead the class by nearly 40 minutes over Vitse.

Saturday is a rest day, with the Dakar Rally set to continue on Sunday.