2020 Dakar Stage 8 was a 477 km loop course around Wadi Al-Dawasir. The route took the Dakar south, where the field saw mountain landscapes, canyons and jaw-dropping colour contrasts such as black stones on white sand. In the second half of the stage, there was a 40 km straight at full speed, which was followed by several chains of dunes.
Overall leader Carlos Sainz was the first competitor to start today’s special. The Spaniard and his navigator seemed to be a bit lost with no bike or quad tracks to follow. Sainz was soon caught by Nasser Al-Attiyah after one hundred kilometres, conceding three minutes to the Toyota driver. The stage lead then passed to local driver Yazeed Al Rajhi. Carlos Sainz was 15 minutes behind Yazeed Al Rajhi after 158 km. Frenchman Mathieu Serradori was enjoying stage 8. The Frenchman grabbed the lead on the special after 212 km, 49 seconds ahead of Yazeed Al Rajhi.
Serradori held on to his lead to win his first stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally. Spain’s Fernando Alonso was 4 minutes adrift with Orlando Terranova completing the day’s podium. South African Giniel de Villiers was 4th and Al Rajhi ended 5th. Sainz drove the latter parts of the stage to keep pace with his rivals, meaning he retains the rally lead, 6 min 40 min ahead of the Qatari and 13 min 09 sec in front of the Frenchman.
Said the 2020 Dakar stage 8 winner: “I’m absolutely delighted. It’s a wonderful story. Yesterday’s stage was very complicated – we made a mistake and paid a heavy price. This morning, we pulled our socks up and left everyone behind us. I’d like to dedicate this victory to Paulo because I’m a former biker. It’s not easy to get motivated after a day like that and my co-pilot Fabien was there as well. But there are two fighters in the car and I’m very happy with this result”.
After the sad passing of a rider on the stage yesterday, the bike and quad sections of 2020 Dakar stage 8 was cancelled out of respect for the fallen rival…
- Al-Attiyah+06 min 40 sec
- Peterhansel +13 min 09 sec
- Al-Rajhi +32 min 25 sec
- Terranova +43 min 02 sec
- De Villiers +53 min 02 sec
- Serradori +1 hr 02 min 42 sec
- Ten Brinke +1 hr 07 min 00 sec
- Seaidan +2 hr 37 min 18 sec
- Han +3 hr 06 min 20 sec