Dakar day 8 update: Sainz takes the lead
The eighth-day of the Dakar Rally saw some of the greatest cross-country racing taking place in the Bolivian Andes, between Uyuni and Tupiza.
Spanish Carls Sainz celebrated a well-deserved victory with his Peugeot, while the battle for second-place looked to be a bit more demanding. Stephane Peterhansel managed to pull-through for second, only coming a minute under first-place.
Third place went to Gazoo Toyota South Africa’s Nasser Al Attiyah, finishing just a single-minute shy of Peterhansel.
Ten Brinke won the battle for fourth from Terranova and Sainz, while Giniel de Villiers fell back to ninth behind Przygonski’s Mini and Sheikh Al Qassimi’s Peugeot.
The implications of these results see Sainz leading overall by a reduced margin of 66-minutes over Al Attiyah in second, Peterhansel in third, Ten Brinke in fourth and de Villiers back into fifth.
In the midst of all the action was Pretoria duo Hennie de Klerk and Gerhard Schutte, who ended up completely disappearing from the Dakar scoring system overnight. Luckily, their Amarok was found by the system, along with a jump from 34th place to 32nd. The cause of disappearance from the system is still unknown, although the crew did have to repair crash damage to get home before making temporary repairs to reach tonight’s service.
The bike stage was equally as thrilling with Antoine Meo snatching a win in his KTM, followed closely by Ricky Brabec on his Honda. Toby Price found himself in third-place while Walkner took fourth from Benavides, Svitko and van Beveren, all within 90 seconds of each other.
Overall leader van Beveren found himself at the top of the tables with a 22 second lead over second-place Benavides. Walkner claims third with a 6-minute gap behind second, followed closely by Price, Barreda and Meo, all within 4-minutes behind him.
The bikers had their fair share of drama after Marquis Xavier de Soultrait crashed out with a broken leg and frontrunner Pablo Quintanilla lost an hour when he crashed his Husqvarna.
Of the South Africans, David Thomas was in the stage in 52nd on his Husqvarna and KTM men Donavan van de Langeberg 76th, Willem du Toit 77th and Gerry van der Byl 97th.
Unfortunately, Day 9 has been cancelled due to strong weather.