HARADH, Saudi Arabia – France’s Mini driver Stephane Peterhansel claimed on Thursday the 11th stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally in cars, while Husqvarna’s rider Pablo Quintanilla led the bikes category.
It took Peterhansel four hours, 14 minutes and 11 seconds to cross the finish line.
This was 10 seconds ahead of defending champion Nasser al-Attiyah of Toyota, while Mini’s Carlos Sainz had to settle for third, eight minutes and three seconds off the pace.
Toyota’s Bernhard ten Brinke came in fourth, followed by Mini’s Jakub Przygonski and Toyota’s Giniel de Villiers in fifth and sixth, respectively.
Yazeed Al-Rajhi of Toyota crossed the finished line seventh, with 2WD’s Wei Han in the eighth.
Century’s Mathieu Serradori, who won the eighth stage, came in ninth, followed by Ford’s Martin Prokop in the 10th.
In Bikes, KTM rider Matthias Walkner, who won the rally back in 2018, came in second, nine seconds off the pace.
KTM’s Luciano Benavides crossed the finish line third, with Honda’s Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo and KTM’s Toby Price in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Yamaha’s duo Jamie McCanney and Franco Caimi finished sixth and seventh, as Andrew Short of Husqvarna came in eighth.
Kevin Benavides of Honda made it ninth, eight minutes and 48 seconds off the pace.
Ricky Brabec of Honda, who maintains the top spot in the general rankings, finished 10th, 11 minutes and 48 seconds slower than the stage winner.
Stage 11 route passed through the Saudi Empty Quarter, the world’s largest sand desert made up of 650,000 square kilometers (250,000 square miles).
The 2020 Dakar Rally is being held in Saudi Arabia, with 12 stages from Jeddah to Qiddiya playing out between Jan. 5-17.
This is the first edition of the race to take place in Asia and the second in a row to be held entirely in one country after Peru.