The 2019 Dakar Rally stage 9 took place earlier today. The stage was a loop around the Pisco area. Crews had to complete a 96 km liaison before battling on a 313 km timed section.

Dakar Rally stage 9 had an interesting start procedure as four cars at a time were sent off. The groups were arranged by their finishing order on stage 8. Nasser Al-Attiyah, Giniel De Villiers, Jakub Przygonski and Sebastien Loeb all started the special together. The second wave consisted of Stephane Peterhansel, Martin Prokop, Nani Roma and Yazeed Al-Rajhi took off five minutes later.

Click here to read the stage 8 results.

On the charge                                                                                                                                     

Picking up where he left off on stage 8, Sebastien Loeb led the timed section from the word go. He was pursued by Przygonski. The Toyota pair of, race leader, Al-Attiyah and De Villiers played it safe hanging back from the leaders. De Villiers played a support role to his team-mate and stayed in close proximity should the race leader experience any technical issues.

Peterhansel out

Big news early in the day was that Stephane Peterhansel retired from the race after just 26 km of stage 9. The 13-time Dakar winner landed very badly after a jump with the result that his co-driver David Castera injured his back. The team pulled the plug on their 2019 campaign on the penultimate stage.

After setting the pace all day, Sebastien Loeb lost over 40 minutes in the dunes late in the day. He wasn’t the only casualty on Dakar Rally stage 9. Cyril Despres, who led the stage at one point, flipped his car on a dune at km 288. He would recover to complete the stage. And it seems that defending champion Carlos Sainz had transmission trouble which ends his 2019 Dakar.

Stage honours and standings

It was a dream day for race leader Al-Attiyah as he beat Nani Roma by five minutes on the road and increased his lead over the Spaniard in the general classification to 51 minutes. South African De Villiers was third today. Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena now lie third in the overall classification thanks to Peterhansel’s withdrawal.

Check out the official Dakar YouTube channel for a video review of the day.

1 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel Toyota 33 hr 09 min 12 sec

2 Nani Roma/Alex Haro Bravo Mini +51 min 27 sec

3 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena Peugeot +2 hr 02 min 37 sec

4 Jakub Przygonski/Tom Colsoul +2 hr 33 min 51 sec

5 Cyril Depres/JP Cottret Mini +2 hr 55 min 13 sec