The 2019 Dakar Rally stage 8 took place today. The stage was run between San Juan de Marcona and Pisco. A 215 km liaison was followed by a 360 km timed section.
Previous Dakar winner Carlos Sainz set the early pace. The Spaniard had not won a stage in the 2019 event and was quite keen to do so today. He put a large chunk of time between himself and Peterhansel who ran second through the early part of the day. Overall race leader Nasser Al-Attiyah was third in the initial phase of stage 8.
Then disaster stuck for WRC champ Sainz. He got stuck in the sand in a section of dunes and lost over 15 minutes to his rivals. Cyril Depres suffered the same fate, a few hundred metres from his Mini team-mate. This opened up the door for the Toyota Hilux drivers who used their all-wheel-drive to good effect in Dakar Rally stage 8. Al-Attiyah grabbed the stage lead. South Africa Giniel de Villiers jumped up to second on the road as two Toyotas led three Minis.
Later in the day, it was Sebastien Loeb who set the timesheets alight. The multiple WRC champion charged through, passing each waypoint quicker than Al-Attiyah.
The late charge by Loeb meant that the Frenchman would eventually claim stage 8 over seven minutes ahead of Al-Attiyah. Jakub Przygonski finished third ahead of De Villiers. Roma finished fifth.
When all the front runners had crossed the line it was Al-Attiyah who retained the overall lead of the race. More importantly, the Qatari increased his overall lead over his nearest rivals.
Check out the official Dakar YouTube channel for a video review of the day.
1 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel Toyota +29 hr 15 min 50 sec
2 Nani Roma/Alex Haro Bravo Mini +46 min 29 sec
3 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena Peugeot +46 min 45 sec
4 Stephane Peterhansel/David Castera Mini +53 min 30 sec
5 Cyril Depres/Jean Paul Cottret Mini +2 hr 15 min 27 sec