Dakar Rally Stage 2 took place earlier today. The 342-kilometre stage was run between Pisco and San Juan De Marcona after a 211 km liaison. Racing was frantic and it seemed that no one could predict the winner as the lead swapped a few times during the stage.

Racing up the order

When all the top runners crossed the line it was Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena in a privateer Peugeot who claimed the stage win, his 11th in the arduous Dakar Rally. Nani Roma/Alex Haro Bravo (X-Raid Mini JCW Team) were just 8 seconds behind. Bernhard Ten Brinke/Javier Panseri (Toyota Gazoo Racing SA) finished third on the stage.

Loeb charged up the leader board as he was not even in the top ten on day one. It seemed that those running further down the order we in an advantageous position.

Taking the lead

Toyota Gazoo Racing SA pair Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz finished fourth in the second stage, 1 min 31 sec behind Loeb. This performance means that the SA driver now leads the overall standings Read more about the SA-entered team here. De Villiers teammate and early leader Al-Attiyah dropped to 8th in the overall rankings.

The top ten drivers are separated by less than four minutes, which should make the next few days stages extremely competitive.

Check out the official Dakar YouTube channel for a video review of the day.

1 Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz Toyota 4 hr 32 min 45 sec

2 Bernhard ten Brinke/Xavier Panseri Toyota +28 sec

3 Nani Roma/Alex Haro Bravo Mini +42 sec

4 Yazeed Al-Rajhi/Timo Gottschalk Mini 4×4 +50 sec

5 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena Peugeot +1 min 56 sec

6 Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz Mini Buggy +2 min 28 sec

7 Harry Hunt/Wouter Rosegaar Peugeot +2 min 38 sec

8 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel Toyota +3 min 26 sec

9 Cyril Despres/Jean-Paul Cottret Mini Buggy +3 min 28 sec

10 Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov Toyota +3 min 43 sec