A Nasser Al-Attiyah, as well as Marc Coma, has less than 200 km of special this Saturday to be confirmed as winner of the Dakar in the car category. The Qatari driver not only saved the penultimate day of the raid without problems but also extended his lead over Giniel de Villiers, under normal conditions, can no longer reach the pilot Mini.
Mini, as foretold, being the most powerful brand in the raid and on Friday they accounted for a new stage victory with Orlando Terranova. The Argentine driver has added four victories in this Dakar and continues thinking about the accident that left him without options in general because in the other stages has added four wins and some second places enabling it to be near the top.
Cars covered the same special bikes 298 miles in length in which there were some pilots who risked fighting for the special and others who took it more calmly. Among the first group were Newfoundland and Vasilyev, both pilots Mini, who were those who were setting the fastest times at point’s intermediate step.
Terranova said he ventured to try to hunt down Al-Attiyah and fight for the stage win, a tactic that ended up giving result because he got the win with just 30 seconds ahead of Vasilyev. Less than two minutes came Spataro with Renault so there were two Argentines among the top three finishers of the day.
Giniel de Villiers was in the group of those who decided not to risk. The Toyota driver is clear that it must conserve valuable second place and only could win if Al-Attiyah has a fatal error or mechanical problems. At the end of the day De Villiers finished 12th losing almost seven minutes with Al-Attiyah who was supposed to also be quiet but was 4th in less than two minutes behind the leader but you know the momentum of the Qatari driver.
The general classification is even more expensive for Al-Attiyah has 35 minutes and 39 seconds on De Villiers. Holowczyc, also with Mini, is 3rd with no chance of reaching the second position or being hit by the fourth podium seems so defined. Van Loon and Vasilyev are fourth and fifth also with Mini that if things continue like would get 4 riders in the top 5.