Sebastien Loeb’s joy turned out to be short-lived with his luck running out in less than 24 hours. His wariness of the desert will now only be accentuated as the rally ace got beached in the dunes which ultimately led to his retirement from Dakar 2018.
After losing more than two hours digging the Peugeot out of the sand-lock, Loeb’s co-driver and rallying veteran Daniel Elena injured his tailbone while landing from a dune making it physically impossible for him to carry on. While Loeb’s hopes were dashed, teammate Stephane Peterhansel made hay while the sun shined, consolidating his lead.
Peterhansel has a half hour lead over fellow Peugeot driver Carlos Sainz who finished stage 5 in fourth position, 8 minutes behind. Toyota Gazoo Racing is getting back into the title hunt, but it might turn out to be a gap too last to bridge.
Ten Brinke, driving the Toyota Gazoo, has rekindled Toyota’s hopes with a superb performance, finishing just four minutes behind Peterhansel. He has now climbed to the third position overall and is running just eight minutes ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah who is staging his second comeback in the 2018 Dakar Rally.
Mini’s lone ranger, Orlando Terranova, is now running 12th overall with his sixth fastest performance in stage 5 to complete the last stage in Peru. The rally will now enter Bolivia and will drive towards La Paz.