Dakar Rally ace Stephane Peterhansel bounced back from his disappointment yesterday to take his 20th career car class victory in the event today.
The Frenchman passed 11 cars on today's 418km run in Chile from Pedro de Valdivia to Iquique – his record 53th stage win in all categories – 6m47s ahead of overall rally leader Carlos Sainz and 8m55s ahead of yesterday's stage winner Mark Miller.
Peterhansel dropped to 10th in the standings yesterday after losing two hours to transmission problems with his X-raid BMW, but has now climbed back to eighth. He is now just 30 minutes away from fourth overall, but is nearly two hours behind the trio of leading Volkswagens.
Sainz lay third for much of the day in his VW Touareg, then passed Miller and pulled clear in second. The Spaniard was pleased with his run – and impressed with the scenery on the descent through the Atacama Desert to the coast.
"We stayed behind Miller for a long time, in the dust, then I was able to pass him," said Sainz. "No problem today except that half of the stage was raced in the dust. But that last drop was incredible. You can see the whole sea. It is very, very steep. It's quite something, really."
Stage 6 results:
Pos Driver Car Time
1. Stephane Peterhansel BMW 4h23m55s
2. Carlos Sainz Volkswagen +00m47s
3. Mark Miller Volkswagen +08m55s
4. Nasser Al-Attiyah Volkswagen +11m34s
5. Leonid Novitskiy BMW +17m32s
6. Nicolas Misslin Mitsubishi +18m24s
7. Carlos Sousa Mitsubishi +21m29s
8. Guerlain Chicherit BMW +24m48s
9. Krzysztof Holowczyc Nissan +28m09s
10. Orlando Terranova Mitsubishi +33m12s
Pos Driver Car Time
1. Carlos Sainz Volkswagen 20h35m33s
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah Volkswagen 15m24s
3. Mark Miller Volkswagen 17m47s
4. Carlos Sousa Mitsubishi 1h34m04s
5. Krzysztof Holowczyc Nissan 1h43m40s
6. Robby Gordon Hummer 1h48m25s
7. Guerlain Chicherit BMW 1h51m42s
8. Stephane Peterhansel BMW 2h04m02s
9. Guilherme Spinelli Mitsubishi 2h12m18s
10. Leonid Novitskiy BMW 3h10m18s