It looked like defending truck champion Andrey Karginov had notched his first win of the 2015 Dakar Rally following Wednesday’s Stage 4 from Chilecito to Copiapo.
But a one-minute time penalty given to him by race officials for excess speeding in a liaison stage handed the win to Stage 2 victor and KAMAZ teammate Eduard Nikolaev (pictured), who had finished a mere three seconds behind.
The penalty bumped Karginov to second in the stage. Another KAMAZ pilot, Stage 3 winner Ayrat Mardeev, finished third on Wednesday for a team sweep of the podium. MAN’s Ales Loprais and Iveco’s Hans Stacey were fourth and fifth, respectively.
KAMAZ also holds the top three spots in the overall as well. Mardeev remains leader in the truck category after assuming that role on Tuesday. He holds a one minute, 57-second advantage over Nikolaev, with Karginov running third at two minutes, 45 seconds back.
Meanwhile, Rafal Sonik broke through for his first stage win of the 2015 Dakar in quad action. The Polish rider finally reached the top Wednesday after starting the event with finishes of second, fourth, and third.
Sonik, who got that third-place finish in Stage 3 despite being assessed a 15-minute time penalty, won by almost three and a half minutes over defending Dakar champ Ignacio Casale. Mohammed Abu-Issa of Qatar was a distant third by more than 13 minutes.
Additionally, Sonik reclaimed the overall quad lead by a margin of 3 minutes, 49 seconds over Uruguay’s Sergio Lafuente, who finished fourth on Wednesday. Casale sits third overall at 13:32 behind, still feeling the effects of a 20-minute time penalty he received for starting late on Tuesday.