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Dakar Rally 2016 blog - part 4

Daily updates from the incredible 9596km race

As I type the Dakar Rally competitors are battling against the longest special stage of the event, the 542km Uyuni-Uyuni stage (to put that distance in context it’s actually a little further than the drive from central London to the Scottish border…). Not only is it massively long, it’s also at altitude – between 3500 and 4200 metres, in fact. Rather them than me on this occasion. The trucks actually take a different route, passing through the hometown of Bolivian president Evo Morales. Sounds like a good bloke. After the first five stages of the rally nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb leads overall in his Peugeot 2008 DKR. He’s won three stages so far. On his first ever Dakar. The guy just keeps on proving himself to be the greatest competition driver alive. Multiple Dakar winner Stephane Peterhansel is second, almost eight minutes off the Frenchman, with Carlos Sainz in third. The best-placed Mini – in fact the best-placed non-Peugeot entry – is current Dakar champion Nasser Al-Attiyah in fourth. Harry Hunt is flying the Union Flag (you can read our interview with Harry on page 2) so we’ve been following his progress closely. He lies in a strong 15th overall, which is more than commendable on his Dakar debut.

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