Following the heartbreak of Carlos Sousa’s troubles during Stage 2 of the 2014 Dakar rally, the GWM/Haval technical team worked tirelessly to have his car repaired prior to the start of Stage 3, only to be forced to retire the Number 306 machine due to Sousa having missed check points during Stage 2.
The sole remaining Haval H8, that of Frenchman Christian Lavieille, however, experienced another consistent outing over the day’s mountainous and rocky stage, which took contestants from San Rafael to San Juan along an altered route due to recent extreme weather and a swollen river. Lavieille completed the stage with the 15th fastest time, and remains in a solid seventh place overall.
As the Dakar has proven many times before, leaders are not immune to experiencing troubles. 11-Time winner and recent race leader Stephane Peterhansel’s Mini suffered no fewer than six punctures, costing him 28 minutes, and allowing fellow-Mini pilot Nani Roma to shoot into the lead.
Nasser Al-Attiyah and Carlos Sainz were also delayed, losing 10 and 15 minutes respectively.
Stage 4 will take contestants from San Juan to Chilecito.
The standings following Stage 3:
1. Roma/Perin #304 (Mini) = 9 hours 20 minutes 13 seconds
2. Terranova/Fiuza #307 (Mini) + 9 minutes 6 seconds
3. Al-Attiyah/Cruz #301 (Mini) + 10 minutes
4. Sainz/Gottschalk #303 (SMG Buggy) + 12 minutes 2 seconds
5. Peterhansel/Cottret #300 (Mini) + 24 minutes 8 seconds
6. De Villiers/Zitzewitz #302 (Toyota) + 26 minutes 23 seconds
7. Lavieille/Garcin #315 (GWM/Haval) + 31 minutes 23 seconds