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 Saturday, 18 January, 2003, 15:01 GMT
Peterhansel's Dakar dream dies
Stephane Peterhansel was forced out of Dakar Rally
Peterhansel's race ended when his Mitsubishi failed
Dakar Rally (stage 16)

Race leader Stephane Peterhansel was forced out of the Dakar Rally with mechanical problems on the penultimate stage allowing Hiroshi Masuoka to inherit top spot.

The Frenchman had been poised for victory going into the Saturday's 365-kilometre stage but disaster struck on the way from Abu Rish to Sharm El Sheikh.

First Peterhansel lost about 20 minutes around 66km into the stage owing to a radiator problem.

He and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret made emergency repairs but they were soon forced to admit defeat when the car's steering went.

Mitsubishi's Miki Biasion, a former world rally champion, won the stage in four hours 43 minutes 50 seconds, ahead of Belgian Stephane Henrard and Frenchman Jean-Pierre Fontenay.

Peterhansel's Mitsubishi team-mate and last year's winner Masuoka finished sixth and leads overall by 1:54.10 from Fontenay.

In the motorbike section, France's Cyril Despres (KTM) narrowed the gap to overall leader Richard Sainct, also of France.

Despre won stage 16 in 4:52.19, two minutes 35 seconds ahead of Sainct.

Sunday's final stage is a 56km loop around Sharm El Sheik.


Stage 16 results:

Cars:
1. Miki Biasion (Italy), Mitsubishi, four hours 43 minutes 50 seconds
2. Stephane Henrard (Belgium), Volkswagen, 4:48.40
3. Jean-Pierre Fontenay (France), Mitsubishi, 4:48.50
4. Giniel de Villiers (South Africa), Nissan, 4:49.10
5. Carlos Sousa (Portugal), Mitsubishi, 4:49.15
6. Hiroshi Masuoka (Japan), Mitsubishi, 4:52.37
7. Jutta Kleinschmidt (Germany), Volkswagen, 4:54.35
8. Ari Vatanen (Finland), Nissan, 4:57.45
9. Jose Luis Monterde (Spain), Mitsubishi, 4:58.59
10. Jean-Francois Guinot (France), Mitsubishi, 5:07.12

Leading overall standings:
1. Masuoka 48 hours 44.08 minutes
2. Fontenay + 1:54.10
3. Biasion + 1:55.48
4. Sousa + 2:33.42
5. de Villiers + 2:39.09

Motorbikes:
1. Cyril Despres (France), KTM, 4:52.19
2. Richard Sainct (France), KTM, 4:54.54
3. Marc Coma (Spain), KTM, 4:58.39
4. Fabrizio Meoni (Italy), KTM, 4:59.10
5. Per-Gunnar Lundmark (Sweden), KTM, 5:04.08
6. Jean De Azevedo (Brazil), KTM, 5:10.43
7. Jose Manuel Pellicer (Spain), KTM, 5:11.02
8. Jean Brucy (France), KTM, 5:11.42
9. Pal Ullevalseter (Norway), KTM, 5:12.23
10. Jun Mitsuhashi (Japan), Honda, 5:21.50

Overall:
1. Sainct 53:03.17
2. Despres + 0:07.54
3. Meoni + 0:38.14
4. Brucy + 1:29.54
5. De Azevado + 1:44.37

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See also:

17 Jan 03 | Motorsport
16 Jan 03 | Motorsport
15 Jan 03 | Motorsport
14 Jan 03 | Motorsport
12 Jan 03 | Motorsport
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