Todays stage 6 of the 2013 Dakar Rally started very early since lots of race course needed to get covered. 291km of highway and 483km of off-road racing special totaling 774km driven. That more or less is a SCORE Baja 500 on Day 6 of one overall very long race.
Nasser Al-Attiyah had yet another flawless day that gave him his first Rally stage win and closed the cap to Peterhansel. After yesterdays stage 5 Nasser Al-Attiyah was 9:54 Minutes behind Peterhansel while today that same cap has shrunk to only 1:18 Minutes. Some of the lead can be credited to his amazing longtime navigator Cruz, that guided them through a “shortcut” section that not too many competitors dared to drive through due to its toughness. You take chances, you gain time.
Also amazing is that this brand new buggy built by Damen Jeffries of Apple Valley, CA with very limited testing time turns out to be trouble free. Carlos Sainz, his team mate had various troubles throughout the last stages and today was no different. Engine failure forced Carlos Sainz into an early retirement from the Dakar. He was very disappointed, tired and exhausted and when asked if he would return the answer was no. Lets hope this is not final.
Robby Gordon with nothing to lose and a near impossible chance of a podium finished 3rd today just 13 Minutes after Al-Attiyah and Peterhansel. He is a good sport and continues the rally but with short of 6hours behind the overall leader he will have to revisit Dakar another year to claim that ever so eluding winning trophy.
Toyota Hilux driver Geniel DeVilliers had a strong 17th place that puts him into 3rd position 42 Minutes behind the leader.
Roma lost a lot of time after he got himself stuck in the dunes losing 1 solid hour trying to get unstuck. He finished 23rd today placing him 7th overall approximatly one and a half hour behind the leader.
In the Bikes category the top 5 overall guys all rank within 10 Minutes. Anything is possible.
US rider Caselli had a good time finishing 4th but is far away from an overall podium win.
The bad news of the day is that one Dakar car team was involved into a traffic collision with local non race participants that resulted into 2 fatalities on the local side.