Sunday is a rest day for the Dakar Rally, well-deserved after an eventful seven stages.
115 cars remain in the race of the original 147. Sadly, Team Dakar USA's Hummer is one of the (unconfirmed) casualties, after a length clutch and radiator repair put the team outside the allowable time limit for starting Stage 7.
Two-time Dakar winner Stephane Peterhansel (pictured above) has put his Mitsubishi Pajero Evo on top after seven stages, storming through the dunes of Mauritania to capture the Stage 7 win and a 32 sec. overall advantage over teammate Luc Alphand. Meanwhile, the Mauritanian sands have been tough on the VW team. The highest placing Touareg at the half-way point is the third place car of De Villiers, 26 minutes off the lead. Former race leader Carlos Sainz suffered heavy crash damage yesterday, and lies almost 8 hours behind. Jutta Kleinschmidt lost an hour stuck in the sand during Stage 7, and now lies over an hour behind the leader, while Mark Miller tied Peterhansel's time in Stage 7, but still lies 2 hr 12 min behind after his crash earlier in the rally.