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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 January, 2004, 20:48 GMT
McRae blasts into contention
Colin McRae
McRae has moved into contention for the lead on his first Dakar Rally
Scotland's Colin McRae has moved into third place on the Dakar Rally as Hiroshi Masuoka surged into the lead by winning the sixth stage on Tuesday.

McRae, third on Tuesday's stage, was boosted as a penalty he incurred on Monday for speeding was overturned.

Officials rescinded the penalty after analysing the on-board navigation system in McRae's Nissan.

Two-time defending champion Masuoka overtook fellow Mitsubishi driver Stephane Peterhansel at the top.

The Japanese star clocked three hours nine minutes 40 seconds, almost three minutes ahead of Giniel de Villiers, on the 351km stage from Ouarzazate to Tan-Tan in Morocco.

France's Peterhansel saw his lead shrink on Monday when he received a five-minute penalty after team-mate Andrea Mayer pushed his car near the end of the fifth stage.

And he lost more time with the puncture which put him 6:40 behind Masuoka.

South Africa's De Villiers is third overall in a Nissan at 17:50.

Former world rally champion Miki Biasion was forced to pull out on Tuesday because his car was irreparable.

The Italian Mitsubishi driver had been lying in seventh overall prior to the sixth stage but disaster struck at the 240km mark when he lost three of his wheels.

His mechanics could not make the car roadworthy in time for the start of Wednesday's seventh stage.

Nani Roma won the motobike category on Tuesday, crossing the line 2:25 ahead of fellow Spaniard and KTM rider Isidre Esteve Pujol.

But Esteve Pujol retained the overall lead, 1:54 ahead of Roma.

Defending champion Richard Sainct of France continued to struggle and lies eighth overall, 14:31 behind Esteve Pujol.


Overall positions after stage six:

Cars:

1. Hiroshi Masuoka (Jpn) Mitsubishi)
at seven hours 42 minutes 23 seconds
2. Stephane Peterhansel (Fra) Mitsubishi +6mins 40secs
3. Colin McRae (Gbr) Nissan +15:41 4. Giniel De Villiers (Rsa) Nissan +17:50
5. Luc Alphand (Fra) BMW +18:48

Motorbikes:

1. Isidre Esteve Pujol (Spa) KTM
at eight hours 32 minutes 47 seconds
2. Nani Roma (Spa) KTM +1min 54secs
3. Cyril Despres (Fra) KTM +2:37
4. Fabrizio Meoni (Ita) KTM +4:32
5. Alfie Cox (Rsa) KTM +7:11




SEE ALSO
Peterhansel hit with penalty
05 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
Vatanen shines in Africa
04 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
Peterhansel takes Dakar lead
03 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
McRae makes Dakar move
02 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
Shinozuka wins Dakar prologue
01 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
McRae relishing Dakar test
01 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
McRae to race in desert rally
18 Nov 03  |  World Rally


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