The Associated PressLIMA (AP) — Sebastien Loeb and former champion Sam Sunderland came back into contention halfway through the Dakar Rally by winning the fifth stage on Friday.
Loeb drove the race’s longest stage from Tacna back north to Arequipa masterfully, pulling away about 200 kilometers into the 517-kilometer course to win it by 10 minutes from overall leader Nasser Al-Attiyah.
“We pushed really hard from the start to the end of the stage, with no mistakes, no punctures, nothing. We had a perfect day,” said Loeb, the nine-time world rally champion.
Al-Attiyah stretched his overall lead to 24 minutes over chief rival Stephane Peterhansel, who had to stop briefly about 40 kilometers from the finish.