Thursday January 17, 2013
Terranova breaks new ground for Argentina in Dakar Rally
LA RIOJA (Argentina): Orlando Terranova delighted the home crowd here on Tuesday by becoming the first Argentinian driver to win a stage of the Dakar Rally.
The 33-year-old BMW driver – competing in his seventh Dakar Rally – came home 2:07 ahead of Monday’s stage winner Nani Roma in a Mini and the latter’s team-mate and defending champion Stephane Peterhansel was third another 12s adrift.
Terranova was delighted with his victory and said that it had been a really smooth drive.
“We took the stage very easily, to not make a mistake because it was very narrow and it was possible to burst a tyre or break some piece of the car,” he said.
“We want to continue like we have done. We are having a good race without mistakes.”
Peterhansel, seeking his 11th win after six in the motorbike section and four in the cars category, extended his overall lead to 52:38 over South African Giniel de Villiers.
The 47-year-old Frenchman’s chances of winning the title again grew immeasurably when closest rival, Qatar’s 2011 champion Nasser al-Attiyah had to pull out of the race after suffering mechanical problems on Monday’s stage.
Peterhansel admitted that he had changed his strategy now that Al-Attiyah had been forced out and conceded that it did not make for a great spectacle.
“For the race, for the show, it’s no good, for the suspense, it’s not really good, but for me it’s not so bad and it’s more comfortable,” he said.
“I can manage the car as well.
“I can manage for example the stage tomorrow and the stage at Copiapo which will be really complicated in the dunes. So if I have more time I’ll be able to manage the race, to wait to see the good places to cross the dunes, so it’s better for me for sure.” — AFP