Day 3 At Dakar 2016 – Loeb Shows That He’s For Real

With the first real Dakar stage completed yesterday, the crews now get down to the serious business of racing and winning the Dakar Rally.  This is when the grind of the Dakar really begins.

Today’s route began with a short transit from Termas De Rio Hondo to the start of the special stage.  The special stage was 314km long.  This was followed by a long transit to the overnight stop in San Salvador De Jujuy.  The map of the Day 3 route is shown below.  Note that in this map shown below, north is to the left, therefore the rally route has turned north.

Day 3 Route

Day 3 Route

Looking at the profile below of today’s route it can easily be seen that the route had the potential to be quite fast.

Day 3 Profile

Day 3 Profile

I did not hear of the route being shortened today, (but with this wet weather there might have been), however the cars were flying today!  Today’s stage winner was Sebastein Loeb with a time of about 2 hours 10 minutes.  If the special stage did run the full 314km, then Loeb averaged about 150km/hour!  Loeb has shown, with his two stage victories in essentially his first two Dakar stages, that he will be a force to be reckoned with.  All of the cars were fast today, with the top seven cars all within 3 minutes of each other.  This is another indication of the strength of the field at this year’s Dakar Rally.

American Robby Gordon finished about 9 and half minutes behind Loeb in 16th position.

The Day 3 top 16 finishing cars are listed below.  Note that former World Rally Championship drivers filled 4 out of the top 5 finishers today!

Day 3 Car Class Finishing Order

Pos. Name Marque Time Variation
1 LOEB (FRA)

ELENA (MCO)

PEUGEOT 02:09:39
2 SAINZ (ESP)

CRUZ (ESP)

PEUGEOT 02:11:02 00:01:23
3 AL-ATTIYAH (QAT)

BAUMEL (FRA)

MINI 02:11:04 00:01:25
4 DE VILLIERS (ZAF)

VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU)

TOYOTA 02:11:41 00:02:02
5 HIRVONEN (FIN)

PERIN (FRA)

MINI 02:12:28 00:02:49
6 PETERHANSEL (FRA)

COTTRET (FRA)

PEUGEOT 02:12:31 00:02:52
7 POULTER (ZAF)

HOWIE (ZAF)

TOYOTA 02:12:42 00:03:03
8 TEN BRINKE (NLD)

COLSOUL (BEL)

TOYOTA 02:13:28 00:03:49
9 ALRAJHI (SAU)

GOTTSCHALK (DEU)

TOYOTA 02:14:33 00:04:54
10 DESPRES (FRA)

CASTERA (FRA)

PEUGEOT 02:15:26 00:05:47
11 VASILYEV (RUS)

ZHILTSOV (RUS)

TOYOTA 02:15:52 00:06:13
12 TERRANOVA (ARG)

GRAUE (ARG)

MINI 02:16:01 00:06:22
13 ROMA (ESP)

HARO BRAVO (ESP)

MINI 02:16:16 00:06:37
14 SPATARO (ARG)

LOZADA (ARG)

RENAULT 02:16:56 00:07:17
15 PROKOP (CZE)

TOMANEK (CZE)

TOYOTA 02:18:51 00:09:12
16 GORDON (USA)

WALCH (USA)

GORDINI 02:19:07 00:09:28

After today’s stage Sebastein Loeb was still very cautious about this event:

“It was good. I had a lot of fun on the stage. It was a really nice stage. It seems that the times will be very close between the drivers. I pushed hard and I had a good stage with no mistakes. Everything is ok at the moment. For the moment, for sure, I’m enjoying it. It has been two good days for me at the moment. The car is going very well. I have a good feeling with the car. It’s performing well so at the moment I’m enjoying it, for sure. At the moment we are on tracks like that so I’ve got a good feeling on this type of road. But when we go to the desert it will be different, with long and hot stages. That is something that I don’t know very well, so we will see. We will continue for the moment and I’ll try to do my best and we’ll see where we are in a few days”.

The overall standings at the end of Day 3 are shown below.  Loeb has a slight lead, but the cars in positions 2 through 6 are in an effective tie.

Day 3 Overall Car Class Standings

Pos. Name Marque Time Variation
1 LOEB (FRA)

ELENA (MCO)

PEUGEOT 06:01:42
2 DE VILLIERS (ZAF)

VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU)

TOYOTA 06:06:45 00:05:03
3 PETERHANSEL (FRA)

COTTRET (FRA)

PEUGEOT 06:06:57 00:05:15
4 HIRVONEN (FIN)

PERIN (FRA)

MINI 06:07:34 00:05:52
5 AL-ATTIYAH (QAT)

BAUMEL (FRA)

MINI 06:08:21 00:06:39
6 POULTER (ZAF)

HOWIE (ZAF)

TOYOTA 06:08:25 00:06:43
7 TEN BRINKE (NLD)

COLSOUL (BEL)

TOYOTA 06:10:24 00:08:42
8 VASILYEV (RUS)

ZHILTSOV (RUS)

TOYOTA 06:11:37 00:09:55
9 DESPRES (FRA)

CASTERA (FRA)

PEUGEOT 06:12:29 00:10:47
10 SAINZ (ESP)

CRUZ (ESP)

PEUGEOT 06:14:02 00:12:20
11 SPATARO (ARG)

LOZADA (ARG)

RENAULT 06:15:55 00:14:13
12 PROKOP (CZE)

TOMANEK (CZE)

TOYOTA 06:16:23 00:14:41
13 ALRAJHI (SAU)

GOTTSCHALK (DEU)

TOYOTA 06:17:44 00:16:02
14 PRZYGONSKI (POL)

RUDNITSKI (BLR)

MINI 06:26:36 00:24:54
15 HUNT (GBR)

SCHULZ (DEU)

MINI 06:28:06 00:26:24
16 MALYSZ (POL)

PANSERI (FRA)

MINI 06:28:46 00:27:04
17 GORDON (USA)

WALCH (USA)

GORDINI 06:29:07 00:27:25
18 VAN LOON (NLD)

ROSEGAAR (NLD)

MINI 06:31:19 00:29:37
19 LAVIEILLE (FRA)

POLATO (FRA)

RENAULT 06:32:56 00:31:14
20 LOPEZ (ARG)

LAFUENTE (URY)

MINI 06:33:17 00:31:35

Robby Gordon moved up in the Overall Standings to the 17th position, but now has dropped to 27 minutes behind Loeb.  It will be very difficult to claw back those 27 minutes on Loeb, so even if it is only the end of Day 3, Robby has to hope that Loeb runs into trouble.

Al-Attiyah After Day 3

Al-Attiyah Says That Things Will be Different Tomorrow!

Loeb realizes that the desert conditions might be his weakness and I think Al-Attiyah realizes that desert conditions might be his strength, so his goal is to stay close for now and move up in the desert stages.  We’ll see.

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