Dakar 2019, Stage 4: Al-Attiyah extends lead

Valentin Khorounzhiy

The Toyota driver was quickest over the 406-kilometre timed special, the longest of the rally thus far, split in two parts by a 55-kilometre neutralised zone.

The stage marked the first half of the rally's 'marathon' leg, so-called because external assistance is forbidden and technical support crews do not accompany the competitors to Tacna – instead waiting for their return to Arequipa the day after.

X-raid Mini buggy driver Stephane Peterhansel, who ran first on the road after topping Wednesday's test, was marginally quicker than Al-Attiyah at the opening waypoint.

But the Qatari led at every split afterwards, arriving at the finish two minutes faster than the 13-time Dakar champion, with a time of three hours, 38 minutes and 49 seconds.

Peterhansel, who lags nine minutes behind Al-Attiyah in the general classification, has taken over in second place from fellow X-raid driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi, who had a troubled run.

Fellow Mini 4x4 drivers Nani Roma and Jakub Przygonski have moved up to third and fourth respectively as a result, with Al Rajhi a close fifth, now trailing Al-Attiyah by 25 minutes.

PH Sport Peugeot privateer Sebastien Loeb was a close third behind Al-Attiyah and Peterhansel for most of the day before tumbling to fifth at the very end of the stage. He now needs to make up more than 50 minutes relative to the marathon leader.

Despite the late setback, Loeb has moved up to sixth overall, his gains coming at the expense of Bernhard ten Brinke – the Dutchman giving up over two hours for repairs to his Toyota – and Mini buggy driver Cyril Despres, who was relegated to seventh place after losing close to half an hour.

Kamaz's Andrey Karginov saw off LIAZ driver Martin Macik to top the stage in the truck class, as Eduard Nikolaev retained the overall lead.

With Iveco's Federico Villagra hitting trouble, Macik now stands as the only competitor within reach of Kamaz's closely-matched leading trio - Nikolaev, Karginov and Dmitry Sotnikov.

In the SxS class, Sergey Karyakin took the stage win and the overall lead amid misfortune for erstwhile leader Chaleco Lopez.

Former quad champ Karyakin heads into Stage 5 with an 11-minute lead over Gerard Farres.

Standings after Stage 4 (Cars class, Top 10):

Pos. Crew Car Time/Gap
1  Nasser Al-Attiyah
 Mathieu Baumel
Toyota 12h12m57s

 Stephane Peterhansel

 David Castera

Mini Buggy 8m55s
3  Nani Roma
 Alex Haro
Mini 4x4 20m51s

 Kuba Przygonski

 Tom Colsoul

Mini 4x4 22m17s
5  Yazeed Al-Rajhi
 Timo Gottschalk
Mini 4x4 24m59s

 Sebastien Loeb
 Daniel Elena

Peugeot 50m22s
7  Cyril Despres
 Jean-Paul Cottret
Mini Buggy 50m31s

 Aron Domzala

 Maciej Marton

Toyota 1h28m37s

 Boris Garafulic

 Filipe Palmeiro

Mini 4x4 1h36m52s

 Harry Hunt

 Wouter Rosegaar

Peugeot 1h37m37s