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CC Peterhansel extends overall Dakar lead to over one hour

Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports News

2006 Dakar Rally

Weather conditions: hot, dry and sunny - 24/34C
Leg 10: Kiffa - Kayes
Liaison; 1 km; Special 283 kms; Liaison 49 kms

For immediate release
Tuesday, January 10th, 2006

REPSOL MITSUBISHI RALLIART TEAM DRIVER PETERHANSEL
EXTENDS OVERALL DAKAR RALLY LEAD TO 40 MINUTES

Fourth-placed Spaniard Joan Roma pulls further ahead of his nearest rival;
Frenchman Alphand collides with tree, damages front wheel and loses 30m

KAYES, Mali - The Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team maintained the overall lead in the 28th Dakar Rally, after the 10th timed special stage between Kiffa in Mauritania and Kayes in Mali on Tuesday.

Overnight leaders and defending champions Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret completed the varied 283 kms special in third position and extended their advantage over second-placed team mates Luc Alphand and Gilles Picard to 40m 04s. Their nearest non-Mitsubishi rivals is the third-placed South African Giniel de Villiers, 1h 03m 17s adrift.

But team mates Alphand and Picard, who had begun the stage a mere 9m 16s behind the leaders, hit a tree and damaged a front right wheel on their Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution at the 228 kms point. Co-driver Picard made emergency repairs, but the crew lost around half an hour in the incident. Spaniard Carlos Sainz set the fastest time into Kayes - his fourth stage win of the event.

~It was not an easy stage at all,~ admitted Peterhansel. ~Between the trees and the rocks it was very slow. It was not easy to open the road, even though it was a short stage. We had no problems with the car. It was so technical, turning in tight situations. It was difficult to find a rhythm.~

Alphand was fortunate to maintain his second position in the overall standings after today's collision, but the Frenchman was also annoyed with himself for yesterday's delays.

~I was angry with myself for making a mistake on yesterday's stage,~ said Alphand. ~I got stuck and used the jack, but the jack lock was not fastened securely and we had to keep stopping to put it away again. It cost me so much time. I was trying to keep in touch with Stéphane and then I found myself nine minutes behind.~

Spaniard Joan 'Nani' Roma and Andorra-based co-driver Henri Magne began the day in fourth place in the third Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution and beat Peterhansel and Cottret by 50 seconds into the Kayes bivouac by setting the second fastest time. Roma moved further clear of his fifth-placed German rival Jutta Kleinschmidt.

~I stopped to make sure that Luc and Gilles were okay,~ said Roma. ~They had the spare part needed for the wheel, so I carried on. The terrain has changed a lot. We have left the desert behind and now we face new challenges. I drove sensibly and made no mistakes. This race is so long. People said that the race was over after Mauritania. But this is just not true. There is a long way to go.~

~Uncertainty is the nature of this race,~ said Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team Director Dominique Serieys. ~It is never over until you see Dakar. Luc has lost 30 minutes today, so maybe any thoughts of a team order have now been extinguished by Africa! Now I will stress to our drivers to keep their concentration and make no mistakes.~

Tomorrow (Wednesday) the route heads south-east across Mali to the bustling and sprawling capital city of Bamako on the banks of the vast muddy waters of the Niger River. After a 50 kms liaison section, the Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team tackles a 231 kms special stage and a grueling 424 kms road liaison to the airport campsite on the outskirts of the city.

This year the event skirts the Badinko wildlife reserve and the tricky Baoulé loop and features numerous tricky gravel and off-road tracks with the inherant dangers associated with crossing Black Africa at speed.

Positions on SS10 (unofficial @ 16.00 hrs):
1. Carlos Sainz (E)/Andreas Schulz (D) Volkswagen Touareg 3h 28m 34s
2. Joan Roma (E)/Henri Magne (AND) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 3h 32m 42s
3. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 3h 33m
32s
4. Mark Miller (USA)/Dirk Van Zitzewitz (D) Volkswagen Touareg 3h 35m 22s
5. Jutta Kleinschmidt (D)/Fabrizia Pons (I) Volkswagen Touareg 3h 36m 40s
6.Jean-Louis Schlesser (F)/Francois Borsotto (F) Schlesser Buggy 3h 38m 15s
8. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Tina Thörner (S) Volkswagen Touareg 3h 42m 33s
TBA. Luc Alphand (F)/Gilles Picard (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 4h 04m 20s

Positions after SS10 (unofficial @ 16.00 hrs):
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 38h 09m 58s
2. Luc Alphand (F)/Gilles Picard (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 38h 50m 02s
3. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Tina Thörner (S) Volkswagen Touareg 39h 13m 15s
4. Joan Roma (E)/Henri Magne (AND) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 39h 45m 22s
5. Jutta Kleinschmidt (D)/Fabrizia Pons (I) Volkswagen Touareg 40h 09m 30s
6. Mark Miller (USA)/Dirk Van Zitzewitz (D) Volkswagen Touareg 41h 31m 00s, etc

Ends

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D 65468 Trebur-Astheim
Florian Moser
Telephone +49 (0) 172 6697 578
E-mail f.moser@mitsubishi-motor-sports.com



Date issued: 10/01/2006

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