2014 January, 07
Monster Energy’s Stéphane Peterhansel has taken an early lead in the 2014 Dakar Rally by storming Stage Two.

The second stage was a huge test of the drivers`  technical ability as they took on some huge sand dunes and over 800km of tough, energy-sapping terrain.

Just like day one, the Monster Energy X-Raid team showed why they are the reigning champions and it was the 2013 winner Stephane who charged to the front of the pack with an awesome stage victory.

Alongside co-driver Jean Paul Cottret, the 11-times winner navigated his MINI ALL4 Racing perfectly from San Luis through to San Rafael with a time of 03:52:05, a whole 46 seconds ahead of the next car in.

That gives Stephane a lead of 28 seconds in the overall rankings with the first two stages out of the way, but he knows that lead means nothing at this stage of the race; “This lead is nothing at the moment, it is so small. We need to get an advantage ahead of the open desert stages, we have to do that.

“The day was good for me, we started not to win but just to get a good result and we did that. The start was very fast, we had to reduce speed in the middle of the race because there were so many rocks and we didn’t want to risk getting a puncture.

“The sand dunes were very nice, very soft sand and there was a lot of people so it looked spectacular. We never stopped, we just kept going and we won the stage.”

There were more good results for the team with Nani Roma taking his second fourth-place in a row to stay there in the overall standings. Orly Terranova built on his second-place finish on day one with sixth, and Krzysztof Holowczyc is ninth overall now after a tough day saw him come home in 13th place.

Day three is all about the mountains as the drivers take on the Aconcagua Volcano, almost 7000 meter high, and the drivers will scale over 4000 meter of that! It’s going to be another huge test for each and every driver as the toughest race in motorsport continues...

Stage Two Rankings

1 - Peterhansel/Cottret 03:52:05
2 - Sainz/Gottschalkk 03:52:51
3 - De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz 03:57:39
4 - Roma/Perin 03:59:30
5 - Al-Attiyah/Cruz 03:59:49
6 - Terranova/Fiuza 04:04:46
7 - Chabot/Pillot 04:06:08
8 - Lavieille/Garcin 04:11:43
13 - Holowczyc/Zhilstov 04:29:13

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