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BMW holds on to Dakar Rally lead


BMW’s Nasser Al-Attiyah won Thursday's shortened sixth stage of the Dakar marathon rally in South America, but may be docked time for missing a waypoint

Organisers shortened the stage after a river ford was found to be impassable.

Al-Attiyah, who leads the event overall, covered the 175km stage in two hours and seven minutes, and was more than five minutes quicker than South African Giniel de Villiers (Volkswagen).

Al-Attiyah said he intentionally missed the waypoint to avoid sand dunes the BMW couldn’t climb because its engine was overheating. "When it reached 120 (degrees) the engine stopped and I preferred not to stay in the dunes.

"When we pushed the engine temperature went up. If we can't repair the engine I think we cannot continue."

American Mark Miller’s VW finished third after battling Hummer driver Robbie Gordon in the dunes.

Former world rally champion, Carlos Sainz (pictured), the early rally leader, brought his VW home fourth, ahead of Stephane Peterhansel’s  Mitsubishi Racing Lancer.

Peterhansel’s teammate and Dakar winner, Luc Alphand, withdrew from the event when his co-driver became ill with an undisclosed ailment.

Doctors said the illness wasn’t serious but the crew is out of the rally.


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