13-time winner, ‘Mr Dakar’ Stephane Peterhansel wins stage 4 in AlUla as Carlos Sainz keeps the lead in Saudi Arabia

Mini's French driver Stephane Peterhansel and his Portuguese co-driver Paulo Fiuza during the Stage 4 of the Dakar Rally 2020 between Neom and AlUla. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 08 January 2020

13-time winner, ‘Mr Dakar’ Stephane Peterhansel wins stage 4 in AlUla as Carlos Sainz keeps the lead in Saudi Arabia

  • The 453km special ran close to the historic Nabatean temples in AlUla
  • Overall leader Carlos Sainz finished third

ALULA, Saudi Arabia: Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel, otherwise known as Mr.Dakar for his 13 victories in the marathon rally, clocked his first stage win of the 2020 race during Wednesday’s 672 kilometer charge from Neom to Al Ula.
Peterhansel and his Portuguese navigator Paulo Fiuza threw their Mini across the rocks and sand that made up the greater part of the 453k special which also ran close to the historic Nabatean temples, to finish stage four in 4hr 14min 34sec.

At one point they made a wrong turn which cut away some of their lead but they still came home 2min 26sec ahead of defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyah in his Toyota.
It was a defiant response from the Qatari who began the day with a three-minute penalty for not letting a rival through on stage three.
“It feels good after all that trouble in the first few days, even though we had a flat tire and got lost once,” said Peterhansel.
“It wasn’t a flawless special, but it feels great to take the win.
“There were more stones than expected and the final 60 kilometers were really difficult.”

Overall leader Carlos Sainz, who pulled out a stunning drive to win on Tuesday, finished third more than seven minutes behind Peterhansel.
The Spaniard retains the overall lead and is 3:03 ahead of Al-Attiyah and 11:42 in front of Peterhansel.
“Leading the charge was hard and Carlos lost some time, but he did an amazing job because it didn’t take him long to get back on track,” said Peterhansel.

-------

READ MORE: ARAB NEWS' DEDICATED DAKAR RALLY SPOTLIGHT

-------

Former Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso couldn’t reproduce his great drive on stage three, finishing 26 minutes behind Peterhansel who gave a ringing endorsement of the new Saudi setting for the race.
“This new Dakar is brilliant,” said the Frenchman. “It has all the ingredients — superb landscapes, tricky navigation and enough difficulties to make a selection.
“The organizers have been perfect so far.”
Chilean Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo won the bikes category and is third in the overall standings, 8:31 behind his American Honda teammate Ricky Brabec.

 


Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian Grand Prix

Updated 04 July 2020

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian Grand Prix

  • The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by .012 seconds

SPIELBERG, Austria: Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton on Saturday to take pole position for Formula One’s season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.
The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by .012 seconds at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in third place and Lando Norris giving McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here.
Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.
Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.
Ferrari struggled for speed, with Charles Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.
Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.
Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.
Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.