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DAKAR: Sainz continues march.

Carlos Sainz now holds a lead of nearly half an hour in the Dakar Rally after winning the shortened loop stage around Copiapo.

The Spaniard took the win by just 21 seconds from the Hummer of NASCAR racer Robby Gordon, but was more than seven minutes ahead of team-mate Mark Miller. As a result, Sainz now leads his fellow VW man by 27mins 31secs in the overall standings.

Gordon's performance was particularly impressive as he emerged as Sainz's closest challenger on the stage although the American admitted that he was lacking power compared to the front-runners.

"We had a good day,” he said. “We managed to have a problem-free stage that will have no consequence. We caught up with Miller around CP2. I remained pretty careful on the bumps on the way back. We are just losing about 20 seconds, so it's meaningless. As soon as we are on faster trails, they (the Volkswagen) shake us off. They have so much more power than we do!"

Behind Miller on the stage, Guerlain Chicherit was fourth quickest ahead of Nani Roma's Mitsubishi and the VW of Giniel de Villiers. Orlando Terranova, who had set a top six stage time on SS9, was forced out when he rolled his BMW.

The top five positions overall remain the same, although Ivar Erik Tollefsen has now moved into sixth place in his Nissan Navara.

Argentina-Chile Dakar 2009 - Positions on SS10:

1. Carlos Sainz Volkswagen Touareg 5hrs 32m 55s
2. Robby Gordon Hummer H3 +0hrs 00m 21s
3. Mark Miller Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 07m 39s
4. Guerlain Chicherit BMW X3 CC +0hrs 12m 25s
5. Nani Roma Mitsubishi Racing Lancer +0hrs 15m 01s
6. Giniel de Villiers Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 18m 15s


Argentina-Chile Dakar 2009 - Positions after SS10:

1. Carlos Sainz Volkswagen Touareg 38hrs 59m 02s
2. Mark Miller Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 27m 31s
3. Giniel de Villiers Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 41m 13s
4. Nani Roma Mitsubishi Racing Lancer +1hrs 13m 13s
5. Robby Gordon Hummer H3 +1hrs 34m 38s
6. Ivar Erik Tollefsen Nissan Navara +5hrs 14m 18s


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