Dakar Rally Stage 12: Leads close in Cars and Trucks; just 2 stages remain

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Editor’s note: Check out expanded video highlights of Stage 12 Friday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

After playing offense through much of the first 11 stages (not including the washed-out Stage 9 on Monday), as contenders move closer to the conclusion of the 40th Dakar Rally, there’s a definite move to playing defense.

A perfect example of that is Spain’s Carlos Sainz in the Cars class. During Thursday’s Stage 12, Sainz was in a defensive mode to preserve his lead in the overall standings.

But while Sainz was playing defense, France’s Stephane Peterhansel could do nothing but be on the offensive, cutting nearly 16 minutes off Sainz’ overall lead.

While Sainz still leads by 45 minutes, anything can happen in the remaining two stages on Friday and Saturday. One thing is certain: Sainz has learned quite a few lessons from his previous five appearances in the Rally, never reaching it to the finish line.

The main thing is not only defense, but also patience, as he readily put on display Thursday.

In the final two stages, Sainz will once again have to play defense to maintain his overall lead, but his four closest challengers – Peterhansel, Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah (who won Thursday’s stage, his third of this year’s Rally), the Netherlands’ Bernhard ten Brinke and South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers – will be going all-out.

The winner of the last two Rallys, Peterhansel, however, has seemingly all but conceded the overall win in the class to Sainz.

“It’s finished now,” he said. “For sure, we will try to secure second place, so we controlled the gap with Nasser.

“I’m crossing my fingers for (second) but also for Carlos. After the big damage to the car that we got on the marathon stage (seven), we lost approximately one hour and forty-five minutes, so coming back into second place is OK.”

Also of note, Thursday’s stage was cancelled for motorcycles and quads due to weather conditions.

Here’s the Stage 12 results, as well as updated overall rankings:

  1. Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah, Toyota, 5:49:57
  2. France’s Stephane Peterhansel, Peugeot, 5:52:00
  3. South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers, Toyota: 5:54:30
  4. Argentina’s Orlando Terranova, Mini, 5:55:53
  5. The Netherlands’ Bernhard ten Brinke, Toyota, 5:57:50

OVERALL 

  1. Spain’s Carlos Sainz
  2. France’s Stephane Peterhansel, 44:41 behind
  3. Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah, 1:05:55 behind
  4. The Netherlands’ Bernhard ten Brinke, 1:17:21 behind
  5. South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers, 1:26:31 behind

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TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten won his second stage of this year’s Rally on Thursday, followed by the Czech Republic’s Martin Kolomy and Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev.

But the biggest news is how Argentina’s Federico Villagra closed to within one second of overall leader Nikolaev. It’s a guarantee the last two stages will be shootouts between the two competitors.

Here’s the Stage 12 results, as well as updated overall rankings:

  1. Netherland’s Ton van Genugten, Iveco, 7:02:36
  2. Czech Republic’s Martin Kolomy, Tatra, 7:06:47
  3. Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev, Kamaz, 7:08:57
  4. Argentina’s Federico Villagra, Iveco, 7:10:05
  5. Kazakhstan’s Artur Ardavichus, Iveco, 7:17:50

OVERALL 

  1. Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev
  2. Argentina’s Federico Villagra, 0:00:01
  3. Belarus’s Siarhei Vlazovich, 3:26:14 behind
  4. Russia’s Airat Mardeev, 5:20:15 behind
  5. Netherland’s Ton van Genugten, 5:23:40 behind

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BIKES

Weather prevented the bikes from taking to the course for Thursday’s Stage 12.

Here’s the overall standings as they were after Stage 11 and remain the same going into Friday’s Stage 13.

OVERALL 

  1. Austria’s Matthias Walkner
  2. Argentina’s Kevin Benavides, 32:00 behind
  3. Australia’s Toby Price, 39:17 behind
  4. Spain’s Gerard Farres, 49:17 behind
  5. France’s Antoine Meo, 59:05 behind

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QUADS

Weather prevented the Quads from taking to the course for Thursday’s Stage 12.

Here’s the overall standings as they were after Stage 11 and remain the same going into Friday’s Stage 13.

  1. Chile’s Ignacio Casale
  2. Argentina’s Nicolas Cavigliasso, 1:34:13 behind
  3. Argentina’s Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli, 2:09:15 behind
  4. France’s Alex Dutrie, 3:56:48 behind
  5. Brazil’s Marcelo Medeiros, 4:22:22 behind

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SxS UTV

Weather conditions also impacted the UTV class, with entries taking nearly 50 percent double the time it normally would under better weather and track conditions.

Here’s the Stage 12 results, as well as updated overall rankings:

  1. Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela, Can-Am, 9:27:12
  2. France’s Claude Fournier, Polaris, 9:38:54
  3. Spain’s Jose Pena Campos, Polaris, 9:45:27
  4. France’s Patricie Garrouste, Polaris, 9:46:06
  5. Italy’s Camelia Liparoti, Yamaha, 11:02:48

OVERALL 

  1. Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela
  2. France’s Patricie Garroueste, 1:03:27 behind
  3. Spain’s Jose Pena Campos, 9:04:40 behind
  4. France’s Claude Fournier, 9:08:34 behind
  5. Italy’s Camelia Liparoti, 25:39:34 behind

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FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE

Stage 13 takes place Friday, going from San Juan to Cordoba, Argentina

After Friday, just one stage remains in the 2018 Dakar Rally on Saturday, when champions in all five classes will be crowned.

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

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:


Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change