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 Wednesday, 8 January, 2003, 17:31 GMT
Peterhansel extends lead
Mitsubishi's Stephane Peterhansel heads for victory in stage six
Wednesday's stage swept through Libya
Dakar Rally (stage seven)

Stephane Peterhansel increased his lead in the Dakar Rally on Wednesday as the race headed across the Libyan desert.

The French Mitsubishi driver finished the day 11 minutes, 32 seconds ahead of Hiroshi Masuoka, of Japan.

Peterhansel, who has won the rally six times on motorbikes, is chasing his first victory on four wheels.

"A lead of 10 minutes represents nothing much," said Peterhansel.

"If we have two punctures the lead will disappear, today was just winning the battle and not the war."

Finn Ari Vatanen, driving a Nissan, lies in third spot more than 20 minutes off the pace.

In the motorbike race, Frenchman Richard Sainct went fastest in Wednesday's special stage, finishing 90 seconds ahead of two-times winner Fabrizio Meoni, of Italy.

The Dakar Rally began on 1 January in Marseille and is scheduled to finish at Egyptian resort Sharm el-Sheikh on 19 January.


Cars

Stage seven leading results
1. Stephane Peterhansel (Fra) Mitsubishi 5 hr, 7 min 41 sec
2. Hiroshi Masuoka (Jap) Mitsubishi at 11 min 32 sec
3. Ari Vatanen (Fin) Nissan at 27:04
4. Ginie De Villiers (SA) Nissan at 29:13
5. Jutta Kleinschmidt (Ger) Volkswagen at 29:25
6. Jean-Pierre Fontenay (Fra) Mitsubishi at 32:17
7. Luc Alphand (Fra) BMW at 33:30
8. Kenjiro Shinozuka (Jap) Nissan at 34:53
9. Stephane Henrard (Bel) Volkswagen at 38:23
10. Carlos Sousa (Por) Mitsubishi at 38:47

Leading overall standings
1. Peterhansel 10 hr 48 min 57 sec
2. Masuoka at 12 min 21 sec
3. Shinozuka at 51:20
4. De Mevius at 55:38
5. Vatanen at 1:00:01


Motorbikes (all KTM)

Stage seven leading results
1. Richard Sainct (Fra) 5 hr 49 min 52 sec
2. Fabrizio Meoni (Ita) at 1 min 30 sec
3. Nani Roma (Spa) at 5:30
4. Cyril Despres (Fra) at 5:35
5. Alfie Cox (SA) at 8:18
6. Carlo De Gavardo (Chi) at 11:59
7. Jean Brucy (Fra) at 13.20
8. Giovanni Sala (Ita) at 13:59
9. Jean De Azevedo (Bra) at 14:53
10. Francois Flick (Fra) at 18:43

Leading overall standings
1. Sainct 12 hr 13 min 03 sec
2. Meoni at 1 min 47 sec
3. Roma at 5:47
4. Despres at 9:58

See also:

07 Jan 03 | Motorsport
06 Jan 03 | Motorsport
05 Jan 03 | Motorsport
03 Jan 03 | Motorsport
02 Jan 03 | Motorsport
01 Jan 03 | Motorsport
31 Dec 02 | Motorsport
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