Getty Images

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

Leave a comment

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

**************************

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

**************************

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

**************************

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

**************************

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

**************************

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

Wickens shares new update, shown working on a pedal machine as he continues rehab

Photo: IndyCar
Leave a comment

Robert Wickens continues his recovery from injuries sustained in a crash at Pocono Raceway in August.

On Friday, Wickens posted a new video of his rehab efforts on his twitter page. In the new update, Wickens is shown working on a pedal machine while connected to electrodes as part of his physical therapy.

Wickens even quipped “I’m riding a bike!” in the short video.

The IndyCar Series community continues to rally around Wickens and offer support as he continues the rehab process, and several of his fellow drivers responded and offered more messages of support.

Prior to the season-ending INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma, Wickens released his first video update since the Pocono crash, thanking everyone for their concerns and kind words of encouragement.

Follow@KyleMLavigne