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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 January, 2004, 17:19 GMT
McRae claims Dakar stage win
Colin McRae
McRae almost had to pull out of the rally at the weekend
Colin McRae became the first Briton to claim a Dakar Rally car stage victory in 14 years with victory on Wednesday.

He won the 478km stage 13 ahead of Nissan team-mates Giniel De Villiers and Ari Vatanen.

The last British driver to claim a Dakar stage win was Mitsubishi's Andrew Cowan in 1990.

McRae said: "I came to learn but I would have been disappointed to have gone home without a win. I'd like to do it again."

And McRae feels he has a good chance of snatching another stage success.

He said: "There still is a hell of a long way to Dakar. "The others will be calculating a lot so I think we can try to win another one."

France's Stephane Peterhansel retains the overall lead and is one hour two minutes and 29 seconds ahead of second-placed Hiroshi Masuoka.

The victory is remarkable turnaround for McRae, who failed to finish stage nine and almost had to pull out of the race.

McRae, the 1995 world rally champion, was forced to spend two nights stuck in the desert after his Nissan broke down during the ninth stage when he was lying third.

The Scot only escaped being thrown out of the rally when he met the deadline for completing the stage by less than three hours, rejoining the rally three days later.

The 1995 world rally champion covered the 13th stage, between Bamako and Ayoun El Atrous, in 5hr 52min 58sec.

French Yamaha rider David Fretigne won the motorbike section ahead of defending champion Richard Sainct of KTM.


Leading positions after stage 13:

Cars:

1 Stephane Peterhansel 36hours 36mins 26secs
2 Hiroshi Masuoka + 1:02:29
3 Jean-Louis Schlesser +2:29:59
4 Luc Alphand + 3:56:59
5 Gregoire de Mevius +4:12:53
Also: 20 Colin McRae + 17:11:40

Motorbikes:

1 Nani Roma 39hours 17mins
2 Richard Sainct + 7min 25secs
3 Cyril Despres + 45:39
4 Alfie Cox + 46:34
5 Per-Gunnar Lundmark + 1hr 04mins 31secs




SEE ALSO
McRae to race on
12 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
Dakar stages cancelled
09 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
Peterhansel back in front
08 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
McRae suffers in the sand
07 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
McRae blasts into contention
06 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
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


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