France, Spain, Argentina top Day Two of Dakar Rally
Lima: French, Spanish and Argentine riders won the second stage of the 2013 Dakar Rally, in the auto, motorbike and quad (4x4) categories, respectively.
France`s Stephane Peterhansel (No. 302) placed first aboard his Mini, clocking three hours and 20 seconds to cover the 242 kilometre track through Peru`s Pisco province, beating fellow Frenchman Ronan Chabot (316), who came in second with 3:03:06 aboard a Smig, and Qatar`s Prince Nasser Al Attiyay (300), who came in third with 3:10:45 in a Buggy Sunday, Xinhua reports.
In the motorbike category, Spain`s Jorge Barreda (5) won first place aboard his Husqvarna, with a time of 2:42:31, beating Portugal`s Ruben Faria (11) and his Yamaha by 5:36 and fellow Spaniard Juan Pedrero (12), also on a Husqvarna, by 6:36.
In the quad competition, Argentina`s Marco Patronelli (250) claimed the title aboard a Yamaha, registering a time of 3:50:45 to beat Sebastian Husseini (265) of the United Arab Emirates, aboard a Honda, by less than a minute (3:51:31). Chiles Ignacio Casale (254), aboard a Yamaha, was in third place with 4:00:04.
The soft sands and massive undulating dunes of Pisco`s Ocucaje region proved to be a major challenge for the competitors in the famed off-road race that began Saturday in the bathing resort of Chorrillos, south of Peru`s capital Lima, and concludes Jan 20 in neighbouring Chile, after covering 8,500 kilometres.
At least 459 vehicles are competing, including 155 autos and 75 trucks, 189 motorbikes, and 40 quads, in the 14-stage race through the rugged countryside of Peru, Argentina and Chile.
By the end of the rally, competitors will have raced through the regions of Lima, Pisco, Nazca and Arequipa in Peru; Salta, San Miguel Tucuman, Cordoba, La Rioja and Fiambala in Argentina; and Copiapo, La Serena and Santiago in Chile.
Competitors from 53 countries and regions are taking part in this edition of the rally, which features the largest number of racers since the competition was first established in 1978.
The rally originally took place in Africa, but political turmoil there led organisers to move the event to South America in 2009, where it has taken place each year since.