PARIS: Stephane Peterhansel closed in on Dakar Rally glory with another solid performance in Fridays 15th stage through Mauritania.
The Frenchman finished a good second to Mitsubishi team mate and defending champion Hiroshi Masuoka and with only two days left he is nearly 56 minutes clear of the Japanese driver in the overall standings.
Peterhansel, bidding to become the first man to win in both car and motorbike categories, led for the first 100 km on the 651km stretch between Tidjikja and Nouakchott.
But Masuoka took over to come home more than nine minutes ahead of the Frenchman and well clear of the rest of the field.
With the rally reaching Dakar yesterday and most major obstacles now left behind, Peterhansel looks all set to be crowned winner today after a ceremonial 27km special stage. Reuters