Despres (Cars), Barreda Bort (Motorcycles) are Stage 2 Dakar Rally leaders

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Editor’s note: Tune in to NBCSN on Monday at 11 p.m. ET for Dakar Rally highlights.

Two-time Dakar Rally champ Nasser Al-Attiyah’s lead in this year’s 40th Rally endurance race lasted just one day.

Frenchman Cyril Despres took over the lead of the Cars class following Sunday’s Stage 2 of the 14-stage Rally across Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.

Despres and his Peugeot covered the 195 mile course (267 kilometers) around Pisco, Peru in a time of 2 hours, 56 minutes and 51 seconds.

Despres, who finished third in last year’s Rally, reached the end of stage ahead of two French teammates Stephane Peterhansel (2:57:39) and Sebastien Loeb (2:59:59).

Al-Attiyah, meanwhile, dropped from first to fifth, nearly 15 minutes now behind Despres.

There were several wrecks during the course of the stage, most notably involving American driver Bryce Menzies, who barrel rolled his Mini several times.

Menzies and co-driver Peter Mortensen were uninjured, but their Mini was destroyed and their Rally is over for 2018.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Saturday’s Stage 1 wrapup

Here’s how all five classes fared after Stage 2, as well as the overall leaders after the first two stages:

CARS 

  • 1. France’s Cyril Despres, Peugeot, 2:56:51
  • 2. France’s Stephane Peterhansel, Peugeot, 2:57:39
  • 3. France’s Sebastien Loeb, Peugeot, 2:59:59
  • 4. South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers, Toyota, 3:04:17
  • 5. Argentina’s Orlando Terranova, Mini, 3:09:44

OVERALL LEADERS

  • 1. France’s Cyril Despres
  • 2. France’s Stephane Peterhansel
  • 3. South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers
  • 4. France’s Sebastien Loeb
  • 5. Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah

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MOTORCYCLES

Spain’s Joan Barreda Bort rode his Honda to capture the stage with a time of 2.56:44. Bort had finished Stage 1 in fourth place.

France’s Adrien van Beveren and his Yamaha remained in second place (2:54 back), followed by Austria’s Matthias Walkner (4:24 back).

First stage leader Sam Sunderland finished seventh Sunday (3:02:45), but is still fourth overall.

  • 1. Spain’s Joan Barreda Bort , Honda, 2:56:44
  • 2. France’s Adrien van Beveren, Yamaha, 2:59:38
  • 3. Austria’s Matthias Walkner, KTM, 3:01:08
  • 4. France’s Michael Metge, Honda, 3:01:23
  • 5. Argentina’s Kevin Benevides, Honda, 3:02:27

As for the five Americans in the class:

  • 12th: Ricky Brabec (Honda), 3:04:03,
  • 25th: Andrew Short (Husqvarna), 3:18:15
  • 35th: Shane Esposito (KTM), 3:30:58
  • 38th: Mark Samuels (Honda), 3:31.22
  • 123rd: Bill Conger (Husqvarna), 6:37:09

OVERALL LEADERS

  • 1. Spain’s Joan Barreda Bort
  • 2. France’s Adrien van Beveren
  • 3. Austria’s Matthias Walkner
  • 4. England’s Sam Sunderland
  • 5. Chile’s Pablo Quintanilla

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TRUCK

Defending Rally champ Russian Eduard Nikolaev (driving a Kamaz) moved up from third in Stage 1 to take the lead following Stage 2 with a time of 3:24.23. Argentina’s Federico Villagra finished second in the stage, 3:25 back, while Czech Ales Lobrais, who led after Stage 1, finished third, 5:38 back.

  • 1. Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz), 3:24:23
  • 2. Argentina’s Federico Villagra (Iveco), 3:27:48
  • 3. Czech Republic’s Ales Loprais (Tatra), 3:30:30
  • 4. Czech Republic’s Martin Kokomy (Tatra), 3:35:34
  • 5. Netherlands’ Ton van Genugten (Iveco), 3:44:31

OVERALL LEADERS

  • 1. Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev
  • 2. Czech Republic’s Ales Loprais
  • 3. Argentina’s Federico Villagra
  • 4. Czech Republic’s Martin Kokomy
  • 5. Netherlands’ Ton van Genugten 

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QUADS

  • 1. Chile’s Ignacio Casale (Yamaha), 3:37:45
  • 2. Russia’s Sergei Kariakin (Yamaha), 3:38:28
  • 3. Argentina’s Gaston Gonzalez (Yamaha), 3:41:39
  • 4. Peru’s Alexis Hernandez (Yamaha), 3:44:17
  • 5. Argentina’s Pablo Copetti (Yamaha), 3:46:37

OVERALL LEADERS

  • 1. Chile’s Ignacio Casale
  • 2. Russia’s Sergei Kariakin
  • 3. Argentina’s Pablo Copetti
  • 4. Netherland’s Kess Koolen
  • 5. Argentina’s Nicolas Cavigilasso

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SxS UTV

  • 1. Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela (Can-Am), 4:18:44
  • 2. Peru’s Juan Uribe Ramos (Can-Am), 4:27:43
  • 3. France’s Patricie Garrouste (Polaris), 4:40:41
  • 4. Spain’s Jose Pena Campos (Polaris), 5:10:08
  • 5. Peru’s Anibal Aliaga (Polaris), 5:11:23

OVERALL LEADERS

  • 1. Peru’s Juan Uribe Ramos
  • 2. Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela
  • 3. Peru’s Anibal Aliaga
  • 4. Spain’s Jose Pena Campos
  • 5. France’s Patricie Garrouste

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STAGE 3: On Monday, the Rally will move forward from Pisco, Peru to San Juan de Marcona, also in Peru.

 

GoDaddy to sponsor Patrick in ‘Danica Double’ at Daytona, Indy — now all she needs are rides

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By The Associated Press

Danica Patrick is going back to green.

GoDaddy Green, to be exact – a fitting color for her farewell tour.

The company will sponsor Patrick in the upcoming “Danica Double” that will close out her racing career, The Associated Press has learned. Patrick has no ride yet for next month’s Daytona 500 or the Indianapolis 500 in May, but she now has the financial backing to pull it off.

This time around, the original GoDaddy Girl will symbolize the new core mission of the company that helped make her one of the world’s most recognizable athletes.

“There’s this great story: I left IndyCar with GoDaddy on my car, I started NASCAR with GoDaddy on my car, I’m most recognized as the GoDaddy green car and driver, and so to finish up my career that way feels appropriate,” Patrick told the AP from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Her final race will be the Indy 500, an appropriate choice because it was “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” that rocketed Patrick and GoDaddy into pop culture notoriety.

GoDaddy and Patrick grew up together. The company switched series with her and marketed her as a strong, sexy woman in 13 Super Bowl commercials – a record appearance for celebrities. Now, the company is most interested in Patrick the budding businesswoman who is firmly closing the door on her racing career and rebranding herself as an entrepreneur . She has a book out, an apparel line, a wine label and confirmed to AP this week that she’s dating Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“Our goals are so well-aligned,” Barb Rechterman, the chief marketing officer of GoDaddy, told AP. “She’s passionate, tenacious and creative just like so many of our customers who are also looking to leverage the power of the internet and turn their `side hustle’ into a full-time business. Danica absolutely epitomizes the heart of our GoDaddy customers.”

Prepare to hear a lot about the “side hustle” as GoDaddy climbs aboard the so-far fledgling “Danica Double.”

Patrick announced in November she would end her driving career with the Daytona 500 and Indy 500, but didn’t have a deal completed for either race. Still doesn’t. Yet somehow, Patrick always figures a way to get what she wants. Talks ended with Chip Ganassi Racing about a possible ride, and late last month, Patrick said, she called former GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons and asked about a reunion.

GoDaddy has rebranded since it last teamed with Patrick. The company now touts itself as “the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures,” and there’s no better spokeswoman than Patrick, who is in the next chapter of her life and her brand.

GoDaddy pulled out of racing after the 2015 season, and Patrick hasn’t had the same level of funding and marketing support since. Patrick has slowly reshaped her image, first into a Instagram model and is now a full-blown lifestyle guru. She realized – at the age of 35 – she was on her own.

She and GoDaddy aligned for a splashy move into NASCAR, where she was glamorous off the track but only mediocre on it. Through all of this, she was married, divorced, spent five years dating fellow driver and competitor Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and then seemed to find herself through a tailored diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

She is cutting the cord on racing after Indy, and her focus is on a sense of well-being far away from the track.

“Their business is so perfectly paired to what is going on with mine, so when we sat down and met, it was like, `Let’s talk about our business. Let’s talk about the messaging. How does this work?”‘ Patrick said. “And this is undeniably perfect for both of us. Not only is it a huge two races and the biggest two races of the year, but on top of that, you have so much `side hustle’ going on, and all the messaging and our brands, and where we are going is so perfectly paired.”w

GoDaddy can help Patrick move on to whatever it is for racing’s former “It Girl.” The company will help her streamline her online presence. Patrick, for the company, is back as a neon green-and-yellow symbol to all the wannabe entrepreneurs chasing dreams.

She’ll get those rides, too. Patrick said she knows she will because she believes she will.

“That’s just the way the universe works,” she said. “You have to ask for what you want. Things have taken a long time with this, but you just have to go with the flow on these things. The universe is not on your time schedule.”

More AP auto racing: https://racing.ap.org/