On January 10, 2014, Stage 6 of The Dakar Rally covered from Tucumán to Salta, Argentina and the racers put on quite a show. #22 Alain Duclos won the stage with his Sherco. This is a first for him although racing in his twelfth Dakar Rally. This puts him in third overall behind #3 Joan Barreda Bort and leader #2 Marc Coma, whose KTM teammate #4 Jordi Villadoms is now fourth. Finally breaking into the top five is #38 Jeremías Israel Esquerre. He’s now the top ranking Chilean after #5 Chaleco Lopez crashed and destroyed his bike. Thankfully Lopez wasn’t seriously injured but has joined the huge Withdrawals List. It was another tough day for five-time champion, #1 Cyril Despres who finished the stage fourth but has to make up almost 2½ hours to have any hope of regaining the top spot. He’s still hanging in there but Coma’s lead is big and growing every day. #92 Mike Johnson is still in it finishing the day 67th and 83rd overall.
Another champion who’s been having a hard time is #500 Stéphane Peterhansel and his longtime co-driver, Jean-Paul Cottret. He won today’s stage but is still over half-hour behind Mini team mate and overall leader, #304 Nani Roma. The Spaniard and his co-driver Michel Perin finished sixth today, but this isn’t the time to coast because another driver looking to close the gap is South African #302 Giniel De Villiers. He’s in the hunt to go beyond his overall third place and go head-to-head with Roma for the lead. The other Mini drivers also pose a threat. #301 Nasser Al-Attiyah and Lucas Cruz finished the stage in second; and #307 Orlando Terranova and Paulo Fiúza were third. They have a lot of time to make up but are still plugging along to help Mini take as many top spots as possible.
There was a lot of dust. On the previous one we were stuck in the dust for most of the stage. This one was a little bit better but it also took us some time to pass cars because there is no room. The rally is finished for us so we need to try and go for stage wins. – #303 Carlos Sainz
#305 Robby Gordon and Kellon Walch continued to struggle holding 31st on the stage and overall standings. The other American car piloted by #318 BJ Baldwin and Quinn Cody is still hanging in there, and determined to finish the race no matter what place they end up with. Don’t give up, boys!
Dutch and Russian teams have been dominating the top order in the Truck (Lorry) class this year. This stage was a battle royal between the Kamaz Master and Eurol/Veka Man Rally teams. #505 Pieter Versluis won the stage, followed closely by Russian #506 Andrey Karginov. The other Man truck driven by #508 Marcel Van Vliet rounded up the top three. However, this didn’t help them much on the overall standings. #501 Gérard De Rooy is firmly in the lead with the three main Kamaz trucks behind him. Although he finished the stage seventh, that doesn’t mean his doing the bare minimum. In fact, he’s playing a chess game to maintain and if possible extend the lead, while maintaining his equipment. The trucks have been one of the most hotly contested classes in the 2014 Dakar Rally and the intensity may only grow over the second week of racing.
January 11, 2014 was a Rest Day. Don’t forget that you can get live updates with The Dakar Rally official mobile apps and official social media channels: