In the car race, Sébastien Loeb let rip with his Peugeot over a route on which the Frenchman was able to focus on speed rather than navigation. Nasser-Al Attiyah opened the road, but Loeb pushed him to more than a minute behind him as well as taking the lead in the general standings from the Qatari. In third and fourth, Carlos Sainz and Giniel de Villiers lie in wait, but Stéphane Peterhansel again lost precious minutes.
Sébastien Loeb: “Sure, I like to be in this position but it’s a bit early in the rally. But it’s good to have a pace like that. The stage was really, really fast; a bit unusual. I hope we will continue at the same rhythm for the fight. I think we did a good stage with no mistakes – that was the most important thing. It’s okay for tomorrow. Daniel has learned a lot during this year and we’ll have to do good work with the navigation, but I think he is able to do so.”
Toby Price gave a show of force and has not waited long to stamp his authority on the 2017 Dakar edition
The Australian won the stage with a lead of more than 3 minutes over his team-mate Matthias Walkner and almost four minutes over Paulo Goncalves. Xavier de Soultrait also put in a solid performance with the day’s fourth best time.
In the quad race, Pablo Copetti fought an impressive duel with Nelson Sanabria and triumphed over the Paraguayan at the end of the special. The Argentinean is the new category leader in his native territory.
In the truck category, Martin Van Den Brink put in the best performance with his first stage victory on the Dakar, which also sees him take command of the general standings in front of the day’s runner up, Russian Dmitry Sotnikov driving for Kamaz.