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Volkwagen driver Carlos Sainz has won the fifth stage of the gruelling Dakar Rally from Ouarzazate to Tan Tan in Morocco by 30 seconds from Mitsubishi driver Stephane Peterhansel.  The stage win has given Sainz and co-driver Michel Perin an overall lead of over one and a half minutes from team-mates Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz and Carlos Sousa/Andreas Schulz.

The 768km stage over the stony, dusty tracks that wind through the Moroccan Atlas Mountain Range, took their toll on many crews including Mark Miller and Ari Vatanen (both also driving Volkswagen Race Touaregs) who each suffered three punctures on the stage.

 Thursday's Stage 6 is the longest of the event at 817km and will see the crews travel from Tan Tan (Morocco) to Mauritania.  After a liasion section of 414km, the remaining 394km includes the infamous Dakar Rally  sand dunes.

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