San Juan De Marcona (Peru), Jan 9 (PTI) India’s C S Santosh closed the Stage 3 at 101st position and overall at 57th position after running out of fuel at the challenging Dakar Rally 2018.Also Read - Highlights India vs New Zealand 3rd T20I Match : IND Win By 73 Runs, NZ Whitewashed 3-0

Santosh was 30 km short of finish due to a loose fuel cap and as a result, he slipped down in the rankings. With nine more stages pending, he will aim to make up for as much lost time as possible. Also Read - Highlights | India vs New Zealand 2nd T20I Match: IND Beat NZ By 7 Wickets, Clinch T20I Series

“I started with a good rhythm today, then went on with the flow in the 2nd part of the stage. I had no issues with the navigation as well. Unlucky for me, the rear tank cap was not closed properly after re-fuelling and I lost my rear tank fuel before I realized it,” Santosh said. Also Read - Highlights IND vs NZ 1st T20I Match: Suryakumar Yadav's Fifty & Rishabh Pant's Gutsy Knock Guide India Home

“Finally, I ran out of fuel 30 km short of the finish and had to wait and ask for fuel from some of the slower riders coming at the back. In the process I lost over an hour’s time today. It was not the best day, but I take the positive that I am still in the race and that’s what counts.” With the third stage of the Dakar Rally moving from Pisco to a very windy and dusty San Juan De Marcona, Spanish debutant rider Oriol Mena of Hero MotoSports Team Rally today overcame tough navigation to clock-in a fast time and finish the stage at the 13th place.

During the stage, he also stopped for a few minutes to help a fellow competitor who crashed in front of him. This may result in a time refund, which will further improve his rankings.

By finishing the stage at 13th place, Mena also broke into the top 20 in overall rankings at the 20th position, pending the time refund decision.

The stage, which was described as “for the hardened off- roadies”, was fought mainly off-piste with the terrain offering 63 per cent sand and more dunes.

A total of 504 km was on offer with a Special Stage of 296 km followed by a 208 km Liaison bringing the competitors to the San Juan De Marcona bivouac to rest for the night.

The Rally will camp in San Juan De Marcona for the 4th Stage as well, where a change in the landscape at the start is expected to provide a new challenge to the riders but not before hitting dunes again for total run of 444 kms including the liaison.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.