Gordon takes overall lead

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:48 IST

Robby Gordon of the United States went back to the top of the overall standings in the 2005 Dakar Rally on Monday.

Gordon takes overall lead

Rabat:

Monday's fourth stage of the 2005 Dakar Rally got off to an inauspicious start when heavy fog forced the cancellation of the motorcycle special stage. The field had to travel to the end of the stage in formation, keeping David Fretigne of France at the top of the overall standings, just two seconds ahead of South Africa's Alfie Cox. There was no such trouble for the cars though, with the Volkswagen of NASCAR driver Robby Gordon dominating the day. Few problemsGordon won the opening stage of the rally last Friday, and the first African stage of the competition, a 123 kilometre (76 mile) special stage between Rabat and Agadir in Morocco, presented few problems. The American clocked 1 hour, 14 minutes and one second to register the best time of the day, 53 seconds quicker than defending champion Stephane Peterhansel of Belgium - although he did receive a little help from the locals at one point. Peterhansel, who finished second in Sunday's third stage behind Britain's former world rally champion Colin McRae, remains in touch though, just 59 seconds behind Gordon in the overall classification. Frenchman Bruno Saby, drove his Volkswagen into third place on the stage and third overall in a time of 1 hour, 15 minutes and nine seconds. Overnight leader McRae finished over four minutes behind Gordon and slipped back to tenth place overall. There was better news for McRae's fellow WRC veteran, Juha Kankkunen. The Finn clocked the sixth fastest time on the stage, by far his best result so far, and moved up to seventh overall, three and a half minutes behind Gordon. The Dutch-Belgian team of Gerard De Rooij, Tom Colsoul and Arno Slaats lost the lead in the Truck class after the Russian Kamaz trio of Vladimir Tchagin, Semen Yakubov and Seguey Savostin won their stage by a massive margin of 1 minute and 34 seconds. Tuesday's fifth leg, the second and final one in Morocco, takes the rally 654 kilometres from Agadir to Smara and features a 381 kilometre special stage. (AP)



Topics : Formula 1
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