Dakar Rally Stage 4 took place on Thursday. The 405 km timed section was run between Arequipa and Tacna. The liaison to get the vehicles to the start was 259 km. Service vehicles were not allowed to help their pilots during this marathon stage, only assistance between competitors still racing was allowed.
After stage four crews only have each other to fix, or rebuild if needed, and prepare their vehicles for the next day’s racing ie stage five. No outside assistance is allowed. This means that all spares and equipment needed to repair and service the cars need to be taken along on the first part of the marathon.
After the drama-filled stage three, drivers were looking to consolidate their positions on day four of the race.
Giniel de Villiers said after damaging his car on stage three: “For now, all we can do is to keep racing, Yes, we’ve lost a ton of time, but the Dakar is never over until it’s over. We’ll keep pushing and supporting our teammates. But now we face forward and look at what the next 2 days holds for us.”
On the road, it was mainly a two-way battle for stage honours with Stephane Peterhansel/David Castera in the Mini chasing the Toyota Hilux of Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel all the way. The SA-built Hilux held a slender lead over the Mini for most of the stage and crossed the finish line 1 min 52 sec ahead. Jakub Przygonski/Tom Colsoul Orlen X-Raid Team were third.
SA lad Giniel de Villiers had another long day as he stopped to help his team-mates who suffered car trouble in the stage.
The Qatari added to his overall lead which is now 8 min 55 sec clear of the field.
Check out the official Dakar YouTube channel for a video review of the day.
1 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel Toyota 8 hr 34 min 08 sec
2 Stephane Peterhansel/David Castera Mini +8 min 55
3 Nani Roma/Alex Haro Bravo Mini +20 min 51 sec
4 Jakub Przygonski/Tom Colsoul Orlen X-Raid Team 13 min 45 sec
5 Yazeed Al-Rajhi/Timo Gottschalk Mini 4×4 +24 min 59 sec