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Dakar Rally: Al-Attiyah (Cars), Sunderland (Bikes) roar back to win Stage 3

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Editor’s note: Check out Stage 2 highlights tonight on NBCSN at 11 p.m. ET, and Stage 3 highlights Tuesday on NBCSN at 5 p.m. ET.

As Stage 3 of the Dakar Rally rolled to a conclusion Monday, Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah rallied back to win his second stage in the first three.

The two-time Dakar champion dominated Stage 3 of the 14-stage event in the Car class, rolling through the Peruvian sand dunes as if it was a day at the beach for him.

The stage began in Pisco, Peru and ended in San Juan De Marcona, Peru. Al-Attiyah won the opening stage on Saturday, but fell back in the second stage on Sunday due to a pair of flat tires.

Even though he suffered another flat tire early in Monday’s Stage 3, a quick repair job allowed him to roar back to win and cut overall leader and defending Rally champion Stephane Peterhansel’s overall event lead to just under eight minutes. Stage 2 winner, France’s Cyril Despres, finished second Monday, three minutes behind Al-Attiyah.

There was one significant incident in the stage. Spain’s Nani Roma, who won the Rally in 2014, rolled his car close to the finish line. He managed to roll the damaged vehicle across the finish line, but was then whisked away to a local hospital with reported head and neck injuries.

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

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup

Here’s how all five classes fared after Stage 3, as well as the overall leaders after the first three stages:

CARS

  • 1. Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah, Toyota, 3:09:08
  • 2. France’s Stephane Peterhansel, Peugeot, 3:13:13
  • 3. Spain’s Carlos Sainz, Peugeot, 3:15:15
  • 4. France’s Cyril Despres, Peugeot, 3:16:51
  • 5. France’s Sebastien Loeb, Peugeot, 3:17:42

OVERALL LEADERS

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

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MOTORCYCLES

In the other marquee class in the Rally, British motorcycle rider Sam Sunderland captured his second of the first three stages, defeating Argentina’s Kevin Benavides by more than three minutes on Monday.

In doing so, Sunderland is back atop the overall standings heading into Tuesday’s Stage 4. Joan Barreda Bort, who won Stage 2, missed a turn in Stage 3, was forced to double back and took a huge drop to 28th in the overall standings.

  • 1. England’s Sam Sunderland, KTM, 3:20:43
  • 2. Argentina’s Kevin Benevides, Honda, 3:02:27
  • 3. Australia’s Toby Price, KTM, 3:24:11
  • 4. USA’s Ricky Brabec, Honda, 3:24:38
  • 5. Chile’s Pablo Quintanilla, Husqvarna, 3:25:03

As for the position of the five Americans in the class:

  • 4th: Ricky Brabec (Honda), 3:24:38
  • 25th: Andrew Short (Husqvarna), 3:45:02
  • 26th: Shane Esposito (KTM), 3:46:51
  • 72nd: Bill Conger (Husqvarna), 4:44:40
  • 109th: Mark Samuels (Honda), 5:38:13

OVERALL LEADERS

  • 1. England’s Sam Sunderland
  • 2. Argentina’s Kevin Benavides
  • 3. Chile’s Pablo Quintanilla
  • 4. Australia’s Toby Price
  • 5. USA’s Ricky Brabec]

Here’s how Barreda Bort’s day went:

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TRUCK

Argentina’s Federico Villagra rolled to the Stage 3 triumph, beating defending Rally champion, Russian Eduard Nikolaev, by 25 seconds in Stage 3. Russia’s Ayrat Mardeev came in third with Czech Republic’s Martin Macik and Belarus’s Aliaksei Vishneuski a distant fourth and fifth respectively.

However, Nikolaev retained the overall lead in the class by nearly a seven-minute margin over Villagra.

  • 1. Argentina’s Federico Villagra (Iveco), 3:57:37
  • 2. Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz), 3:57:12
  • 3. Russia’s Ayrat Mardeev (Kamaz), 4:00:46
  • 4. Czech Republic’s Martin Macik (Liaz), 4:09:55
  • 5. Belarus’s Aliaksei Vishneuski (Maz), 4:21:04

OVERALL LEADERS

  • 1. Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev
  • 2. Argentina’s Federico Villagra
  • 3. Belarus’s Aliaksei Vishneuski
  • 4. Belarus’s Siarhei Vlazovich
  • 5. Czech Republic’s Martin Macik

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QUADS

  • 1. Chile’s Ignacio Casale (Yamaha), 3:58:08
  • 2. Peru’s Alexis Hernandez (Yamaha), 4:07:03
  • 3. Argentina’s Pablo Copetti (Yamaha), 4:13:00
  • 4. Brazil’s Marcelo Medeiros (Yamaha), 4:13:07
  • 5. Argentina’s Gustavo Gallego (Yamaha), 4:15:51

OVERALL LEADERS

  • 1. Chile’s Ignacio Casale
  • 2. Russia’s Sergei Kariakin
  • 3. Argentina’s Pablo Copetti
  • 4. Peru’s Alexis Hernandez
  • 5. Argentina’s Gustavo Gallego

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SxS UTV

  • 1. Peru’s Juan Uribe Ramos (Can-Am), 4:30:36
  • 2. France’s Patricie Garrouste (Polaris), 4:47:49
  • 3. France’s Claudio Fournier (Polaris), 5:12:48
  • 4. Peru’s Anibal Aliaga (Polaris), 5:56:59
  • 5. Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela (Can-Am), 6:35:02

OVERALL LEADERS

  • 1. Peru’s Juan Uribe Ramos
  • 2. France’s Patricie Garrouste
  • 3. Peru’s Anibal Aliaga
  • 4. France’s Claudio Fournier
  • 5. Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela

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STAGE 4: On Tuesday, the Rally will take a circuitous course that both begins and ends in San Juan de Marcona, Peru.

Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified

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FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

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