De Villiers makes up time on Dakar Rally car leaders during stage eight
Lopez halves Currie side-by-side lead as Karginov extends truck advantage.
2009 Dakar Rally car champion Giniel de Villiers made up time on leading trio Carlos Sainz, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Stéphane Peterhansel after stage eight of the 2020 edition as the bikes and quads did not race in honour of Paulo Gonçalves. Here is all you need to know:
– The car, side-by-side and truck categories took to the route on Monday with the 477km loop around the Wadi Al-Dawasir bivouac one of the shorter stages.
– De Villiers struggled during the first week at the inaugural Saudi Arabian staging, however the South African stepped up a gear to finish fourth on the day behind Frenchman Mathieu Serradori with former F1 and Le Mans champion Fernando Alonso in second place.
– De Villiers now lies 53m 12s behind Spaniard Sainz with the two-time winner’s overall lead cut to just 6m 40s by Qatari Al-Attiyah with French 13-time champion Peterhansel now only 13m 09s adrift after all three of the leading cars finished outside the top eight.
– Peterhansel, 54, said: “We drove together for the last 70 kilometres. At the beginning it was Carlos opening the road until he got stuck, then Nasser got stuck in the dunes and after that I opened the road for more than 200 kilometres. Only at the end Nasser passed me.”
– Even though Polish driver Kuba Przygonski is out of contention for a podium place overall, he claimed sixth place on Monday alongside navigator Timo Gottschalk.
– The side-by-side category took another twist as overall leader Casey Currie saw reigning champion Chaleco Lopez halve the American’s lead to 15m 40s after the Chilean finished just 22 seconds behind 2018 champion Reinaldo Varela of Brazil.
– American Mitch Guthrie Jr. took over Cyril Despres and Mike Horn’s engine after Sunday’s stage and repaid their gesture with another stage win, while compatriot Blade Hildebrand finished 14th.
– Guthrie Jr. admitted: “Now we’re out of the general classification and into the Dakar Experience class, so the aim is to pick up more of these stage wins.”
– Russian Andrey Karginov was a class above again in his truck as he won by nearly 5m 54s to increase his advantage over fellow Team Kamaz Master driver Anton Shibalov to 27m 06s, who remains the only serious rival heading into the final four stages of the race.
– Tuesday’s stage nine will see all five Dakar categories head east to Haradh over a monster distance of 891 kilometres, including a 415-kilometre special stage.
Top three overall results in each category
1. Carlos Sainz (ESP)/Lucas Cruz (ESP) MINI Buggy 31h56m52s
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Mathieu Baumel (FRA) Toyota +06m40s
3. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Paulo Fiuza (PRT) MINI Buggy +13m09s
1. Ricky Brabec (USA) Honda 28h25m01s
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI) Husqvarna +24m48s
3. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHI) Honda +27m01s
1. Andrey Karginov (RUS) Kamaz 34h31m43s
2. Anton Shibalov (RUS) Kamaz +27m06s
3. Siarhei Viazovich (BLR) Maz +01h05m17s
1. Casey Currie (USA)/Sean Berriman (USA) Can-Am 39h47m37s
2. Chaleco Lopez (CHI)/Juan Pablo Latrach Vinagre (CHI) Can-Am +15m40s
3. Sergei Kariakin (RUS)/Anton Vlasiuk (RUS) Can-Am +34m29s
1. Ignacio Casale (CHI) Yamaha 36h12m58s
2. Simon Vitse (FRA) Yamaha +36m43s
3. Rafal Sonik (POL) Yamaha +01h23m31s