Dakar Rally SS8: Dakar enters the finish straight

Dakar Rally SS8: Dakar enters the finish straight

  • Tough day in the Ica dunes
  • Peterhansel fourth overall

Today saw the top ten cars and motorcycles, and the top five trucks, start ahead of the rest of the field. The starting positions were determined by the times set on yesterday’s stage. All three MINI JCW Buggy crews had qualified for the so-called “Super Ica”. Stéphane Peterhansel and David Castera (both FRA) finished 8th. Their French team-mates Cyril Despres and Jean-Paul Cottret were 17th. Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz (both ESP) had to settle for 23rd place.

It proved to be a tough day for Peterhansel. The 8th place on the stage saw him drop back to third place in the overall standings. “I started fourth, behind three bikes. The first 150 km were very fast and we overtook the trio in front of us,” said the Frenchman. “That made me the first vehicle into the dunes, so there were no tracks for me to use as orientation. We then got stuck after 20 km. The sand was very soft and difficult to read. A few motorcycles re-overtook us, after which we had tracks to follow again. 50 km from the finish we hit a big hole in the dunes and stuck fast. Some of the top bikes had also got stuck at that same spot. In all, we lost about 20 minutes – not a good day for us.”

Luck was once again not on Despres’ side. The Frenchman had gearbox issues and was unable to use two gears. “Today was our toughest day,” said Despres. With the problem with the gearbox, I never thought we would even reach the finish. I am glad that we made it. We were caught out by the same spot, at which Carlos got stuck. It took us ages to get moving again.”

Sainz endured a particularly tough day. “We got stuck at the start of the stage,” the Spaniard reported. “After that, I did not have power steering for about 200 kilometers. I am quite exhausted now.”

Tomorrow’s leg is the penultimate stage of the Dakar. This time, the crews do not start the stage individually, but in groups of four vehicles at a time. They then face 313 kilometers against the clock.

Rally Dakar – Result SS8

1. Sebastian Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (FRA) Peugeot –  3h 54m 53s
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) / Mathieu Baumel (FRA) Toyota – 4h 02m 20s
3. Kuba Przygonski (POL) / Tom Colsoul (BEL) MINI JCW Rally – 4h 10m 08s
4. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF) / Dirk von Zitzewitz (GER) Toyota – 4h 10m 48s
5. Nani Roma (ESP) / Alex Haro (ESP) MINI JCW Rally – 4h 10m 50s
6. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU) / Timo Gottschalk (GER) MINI JCW Rally – 4h 17m 44s
7. Martin Prokop (CZE) / Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford – 4h 23m 29s
8. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / David Castera (FRA) MINI JCW Buggy – 4h 26m 34s
9. Pierre Lachaume (FRA) / Jean Michel Polato (FRA) Peugeot – 4h 31m 15s
10. Ronan Chabot (FRA) / Gilles Pillot (FRA) Toyota – 4h 36m 09s

17. Cyril Despres (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) MINI JCW Buggy – 4h 57m 46s
23. Carlos Sainz (ESP) / Lucas Cruz (ESP) MINI JCW Buggy – 5h 29m 04s
Rally Dakar – Overall result after SS8
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) / Mathieu Baumel (FRA) Toyota – 29h 15m 50s
2. Nani Roma (ESP) / Alex Haro (ESP) MINI JCW Rally – 30h 02m 19s
3. Sebastian Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (FRA) Peugeot –  30h 02m 35s
4. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / David Castera (FRA) MINI JCW Buggy – 30h 09m 20s
5. Cyril Despres (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) MINI JCW Buggy – 31h 31m 17s
6. Kuba Przygonski (POL) / Tom Colsoul (BEL) MINI JCW Rally – 31h 35m 40s
7. Martin Prokop (CZE) / Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford – 32h 11m 57s
8. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU) / Timo Gottschalk (GER) MINI JCW Rally – 33h 10m 47s
9. Carlos Sainz (ESP) / Lucas Cruz (ESP) MINI JCW Buggy – 35h 58m 05s
10. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF) / Dirk von Zitzewitz (GER) Toyota – 36h 16m 51s