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Dakar 2017: Loeb, Peterhansel battle rages in Stage 10

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With the 2017 Dakar Rally restarted on Thursday after a second stage cancellation on Wednesday owing to a massive landslide, the importance of Thursday’s Stage 10 from Chilecito to San Juan in Argentina grew.

It was a dramatic day with a lot of changes. Highlights will occur on Friday, at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Notes from the day are below:

In the battle between Peugeot teammates Sebastien Loeb and Stephane Peterhansel, Peterhansel survived an incident while Loeb captured another stage win.

At the first waypoint, Peterhansel took a minute, 36 second lead over Loeb, which left the net between the two of them at this point in the rally a microscopically scant two seconds!

Peterhansel then had an incident with bike rider Simon Marcic, who was assisted by rescue services and diagnosed with an open tibia-fibula fracture.

The third member of the Peugeot runners, Cyril Despres, was ahead at the first checkpoint of the stage and build that as the day went on, while Peterhansel looked to recover.

Loeb and Peterhansel both closed on Despres as the day went on.

By the end of the stage, Loeb overcame the deficit to Despres in order to secure his fourth stage win of this year’s rally, and thus match the total he achieved last year.

Peterhansel retains the lead with two stages remaining, following a time adjustment.

The day was also difficult for MINI’s Mikko Hirvonen, who was stuck for three hours in a ravine.

The day in bikes saw KTM’s Sam Sunderland consolidate his lead, while one of the podium contenders was knocked unconscious and one of the day’s podium finishers evacuated to a hospital on a brutal day in this category.

Sunderland has a 30-minute lead and change while Michael Metge claimed his elusive first win of the rally. Joan Barreda, the Honda rider who lost an hour to a penalty early in the race, was second today with Stefan Svetko in third.

Svetko was evacuated to the hospital after the day’s stage.

Worse was the luck for Pablo Quintanilla, who had been second for most of the rally but fell off his bike and was diagnosed with head trauma and a loss of consciousness.

Sunderland seems poised to capture the win but isn’t backing down just yet, knowing how brutally tough this Dakar has been in the bike category.

It was a Russian double in the quads and trucks, with Sergey Karayakin (quads) and Eduard Nikolaev (trucks) taking their respective class wins today.

STAGE MAP

STAGEย RECAPS

Stage nine (cancelled due to weather) and (VIDEO)
Stage eightย (VIDEOS)
Rest day VIDEOS
Stage seven
Stage six (cancelled due to weather)
Stage five (shortened due to weather)
Stage four and (VIDEOS)
Stage threeย and (VIDEOS)
Stage twoย and (VIDEOS)
Stage one and (VIDEOS)

MRTI: Juncos signs Carlos Cunha for Pro Mazda campaign

Photo: Juncos Racing
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Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tiresย USF2000ย Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.

Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.

โ€œItโ€™s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,โ€ said the 18-year-old Cunha. โ€œI am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!โ€

Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”

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