January 4, 2017 – Sebastien Loeb remains at the front of the 2017 Dakar Rally despite seeing his Peugeot team-mate Stephane Peterhansel claim his first stage victory of this year’s event.
However it was a nightmare day for Toyota, with all three factory entries hitting trouble, with Nasser Al-Attiyah in particularly enduring a horrible day in Argentina, while troubles also befell Nani Roma and Giniel de Villiers in the second part of the stage.
Carlos Sainz Sr was second fastest ahead of Loeb, but the story of the day was not so much the success of the French team, but the nightmare for those within the Toyota camp.
Loeb had looked set in the early stages to lose the lead, with Al-Attiyah enjoying a strong opening section, but the Qatari driver damaged a wheel in the second timed section, losing over an hour as repairs were carried out, before resuming only to stop again.
Mikko Hirvonen was the best of the rest on day three of the rally, with the X-Raid Mini driver ending fourth, while Cyril Dupres made it four Toyota’s inside the top five.
Loeb remains ahead the standings by 42-seconds from Sainz, while Peterhansel is third, 4 minutes and 18 seconds down on the multiple World Rally Champion. Like on the stage, Hirvonen sits fourth in the standings but 9 minutes and 38 seconds behind Loeb, while Roma is fifth, 13 minutes and 4 seconds behind.
KSA’s Yazeed Al Rajhi lies in 6th place overall, while the UAE’s Khalid Al Qassimi is 14th and Mohammed Abu Issa is 15th.