The seventh stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally was a tricky one for many of the teams. Without overnight support from the service crews teams had to look after their own machinery (as explained in the video at the bottom of this post). Part one of the marathon ended in Sakaka, which was the start point of the 2021 Dakar stage 8 as the teams made their way to Neom on a 375 km timed section. Click here to read our stage seven report.
2021 Dakar Stage 8 was another close fought affair with the overall leaders Stephane Peterhansel (Mini) and Nasser Al-Attiyah trading places at the top of the timesheets throughout the stage. Defending champion Carlos Sainz (Mini) put in a hard charge towards the latter part of the stage. Stage seven winner Yazeed Al-Rajhi encountered mechanical problems after 193 km and lost over an hour to stage leader Nasser Al-Attiyah after 225 km.
When all the top teams arrived in Neom it was Nasser Al-Attiyah who set the quickest time over the stage. The stage win was the Qatari’s fifth of the 2021 Dakar and his 40th in all Dakar events. He was trailed home by Sainz with Peterhansel in third. Sheik Khalid Al Qassimi (Peugeot) was fourth ahead of his teammate Cyril Depres. Significantly, Al-Attiyah took over three minutes out of the Frenchman’s lead in the general standings. South African driver Shameer Variawa (Toyota) had a good run to finish 7th on the stage.
General classification after 2021 Dakar Stage 8
- Stephane Peterhansel Mini 29 hours 36 min 49 sec
- Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota +4 min 50 sec
- Carlos Sainz Mini +38 min 55 sec
- Jakub Przygonski Toyota +1 hour 38 min 08 sec
- Nani Roma BRX +2 hours 30 min 29 sec
- Vladimir Vasilyev Mini +2 hours 42 min 00 sec
- Sheik Khalid Al Qassimi Peugeot +2 hours +45 min 33 sec
- Martin Prokop Ford +3 hours 18 min 24 sec
- Christian Lavielle Optimus +3 hours 41 min 57 sec
- Cyril Despres Peugeot +4 hours 09 min 03 sec
The marathon stage explained: