Stephane Peterhansel was fastest on day five of the 2018 Dakar Rally, as fellow Peugeot driver Sebastien Loeb retired from the event according to a report on motorsport.com.The nine-time WRC champion, first on the road after recording his 10th Dakar stage win on Tuesday, came to a halt just five kilometres into the 266km timed test between San Juan de Marcona and Arequipa.
He got going after almost half an hour at a standstill, but his Peugeot was soon stuck again and lost another two hours waiting for assistance.
Loeb was finally helped by a truck and carried on – but with co-driver Daniel Elena in pain after sustaining a tailbone injury, the pair were finally forced to withdraw.
With the WRC legend ruled out, his Peugeot teammates Peterhansel and Carlos Sainz were left standing as the two frontrunners in the car class, and it was the former who bolstered his chances with a strong time through Wednesday’s test.
The 13-time Dakar champion notched up his first stage win of the 2018 event, beating his nearest rival – Toyota’s Bernhard ten Brinke – by almost five minutes.
Sainz, having got stuck in the dunes early on, was 18 minutes down at the finish line, and now trails Peterhansel by over half an hour in the general classification.
The stage marked the end of Dakar’s all-Peru opening leg, as the rally will begin its high-altitude phase and head to Bolivia’s capital La Paz tomorrow.
Source: motorsport.com. Image: Motorsport.com