Barreda out front in motorcycles, De Villiers leads in cars at Dakar Rally
Spanish motorcycle rider Joan Barreda, with Honda, regained the lead in his category in the Dakar 2019 Rally after the second leg of the race, while in automobiles the new leader is South Africa’s Giniel De Villiers, riding for Toyota.
Barreda remains out in front in the general rankings with a 1m31s lead over Austria’s Matthias Walkner, with KTM, who won the leg between the Peruvian cities of Pisco and San Juan de Marcona, a 553-kilometer (343-mile) stretch through the desert.
The Spaniard recorded the day’s third-best time, behind only Walkner and US rider Ricky Brabec, also with Honda.
In automobiles, another Spaniard, Nani Roma, almost won the leg but victory was snatched from him by France’s Sebastian Loeb, who came in just eight seconds faster to shoot up into third place in the rankings, just 42 seconds behind the new leader, De Villiers.
Madrid native Carlos Sainz, with Mini, managed to do well on a leg in which he could have lost a lot of time due to two tire punctures and assorted mechanical problems.
The reigning Dakar auto champ changed a tire after the first blowout but opted to continue without doing so after the second and made it to the end of the leg, notching the eighth-best time of the day.
Luckily for Sainz, France’s Stephane Peterhansel, one of his main rivals, had a bad run and was left stranded in a sand dune for about 20 minutes after making a serious mistake.
In the UTV category, victory in the leg went to Chile’s Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez, who won his 12th leg in a Dakar Rally after running the race the previous eight times on a motorcycle.
Dakar 2019 is the first edition of the race to be run in just one country, with all 10 legs taking place in Peru from Jan. 7-17.