Sainz on course
After more than 4,500 kms of timed special stages, 2010 and 2018 champion Sainz looks well poised to add a third Dakar crown to his kitty.
"It's good to have put the marathon stage behind us. It's always important. Yesterday we got to work on the car and everything went well. Just one day to go. I'll keep an eye on the gaps and stay focused for tomorrow," said the 57-year-old.
Al Attiyah in the hunt
Al Attiyah will go all out to catch Sainz on the final stage of the Dakar, but the ace Qatari driver will also be aware that third placed Peterhansel is just 6sec behind him.
"We paid dearly for our mistake yesterday. Now we'll battle Stephane (Peterhansel) for second place. Making it so far is already great, there's one stage to go and we'll see how it goes," the three-time champion said.
Peterhansel closes gap
Peterhansel closed the gap on Al Attiyah thanks to the 80th stage win of his illustrious Dakar career which has seen him win the most gruelling off-road race 13 times -- seven on car and six in bikes.
"It's so hard to gain minutes under normal circumstances. On the other hand, navigational mistakes have led to big gaps. We fought hard, pushed all day long and gained some time, but it's not enough. Now, if Carlos (Sainz) can bring it home, it'll be great for the team," said the MINI driver.
Alonso fights back
Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso whose double roll on stage 11 potentially cost him a top 10 result, came back strongly and finished eighth to be perched 56th overall.
"Great day. We started 113th and naturally we found the dunes very soft, but the car & Marc have been mega. we finished P8 today," the Dakar debutant tweeted.