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Dakar 2011: Sainz closes in on Peterhansel’s record

Carlos Sainz scored his 20th career Dakar Rally stage victory on Wednesday and extended his overall lead as the event moved into Chile. Sainz is now within two wins of Stephane Peterhansel’s record 22. 

Peterhansel’s BMW led, being 15 seconds quicker than Sainz, but he was delayed by a puncture later in the day and slipped to third behind Sainz’s Volkswagen team-mate Nasser Al-Attiyah.

“It could’ve been a good day because we were in the lead at the intermediate points,” said Peterhansel. “But we got a flat tyre and had to change the wheel, which took two or three minutes. That’s what we needed to win the stage. It means we’re navigating well and we aren’t having problems on high altitude tracks either. So, even if it wasn’t our strategy to be third for tomorrow, it hasn’t turned out to bad in the end. By setting off in third we can gain back a handful of precious minutes.”

Sainz was relieved to take the victory but insists he is not in a comfortable lead of the event despite his lead climbing above four minutes. “There was some navigation work, a bit of off-track driving, but I think that it will be tomorrow when things will get serious,” said Sainz. “Peterhansel, Al Attiyah and even de Viliers are dangerous rivals. We’re very close to each other in the standings.”

De Villiers was fourth on today’s stage ahead of VW teammate Mark Miller, who’s back into the overall top 10.

About faisal

Faisal Asri has been involved in Automotive Companies and Motorsports his entire professional life. Currently attached to Honda Malaysia as a Product Planner, he also has driven for Honda Malaysia Racing Team in Merdeka Millennium (MME)12 Hr Race 2008. Previous claim to fame with R3 include doing the donkey work getting cars such as the Satria R3, Savvy Zerokit, Waja & GEN.2 MME from prototype to production ready. Together with Adian, Faisal also successfully ran the Street Shoot Out Challenge, introducing a more exciting Time Attack format to the Malaysian Grassroot fraternity. On top of that, he was involved trackside coordinating Proton-R3's Lotus to 2 successive victories in MME. Faisal moonlights as a Driving Instructor in many Track/Advance Driving events and freelances as a R/C Drift Judge when the opportunity arises. Can usually be seen in SIC driving cars as how the were meant to be, HARD.
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