Belen - Defending champion Nasser al-Attiyah won the eighth stage of the
Dakar Rally on Monday as disaster struck debutant Sebastien Loeb's
impressive start to the gruelling event.
Al-Attiyah, in a first stage win for Mini against the might of
Peugeot who had won the previous six, finished 12 seconds ahead of
Carlos Sainz and 31 seconds in front of new leader Stephane Peterhansel, both
representing the French car manufacturer.
Nine-time world champion Loeb, after three stage wins, lost his lead
of the overall standings as he ground to a standstill after taking a
wrong turn and rolling less than 30km from the end of the 393km
timed special of the 766km run between Salta and Belen.
Despite massive damage to the car, Loeb and co-pilot Daniel Elena
managed to limp home to now stand eighth in the overall standings, more
than one hour off the pace.
"It's over for the victory," said Loeb. "In a stream there was a huge
step that I didn't see and which threw us into a barrel-roll.
"We lost a lot of time because we had to change the wheels.
"Our victory hopes have gone - we knew that we didn't know it all!"
Loeb may have impressed during the first week of the Dakar, putting
his WRC experience to good use, but Peterhansel warned that the Dakar is
a different beast.
"He fell into the trap we could have expected. Once you're off the track you have to open your eyes twice as much," he said.
"That was where he risked making a mistake."
KTM rider Toby Price won the motorcycle section, the Australian
landing a sledgehammer blow in distancing Paulo Goncalves (Honda), the
overnight leader, by 5:17.
As a result, Price took command of the overall standings with a lead of 2:05 over the Honda rider from Portugal.
Tuesday's ninth stage is around Belen.
2016 Dakar Rally Stage 8 results
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) 04:12:23
2. Carlos Sainz (ESP) +00:00:12
3. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) +00:00:31
4. Cyril Despres (FRA) +00:04:40
5. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) +00:06:42
1. Toby Price (AUS) 04:33:14
2. Paulo Gonçalves (POR) +00:05:17
3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL) +00:06:32
4. Stefan Svitko (SVK) +00:08:02
5. Kevin Benavides (ARG) +00:08:0
1. Gerard de Rooy (NLD) 04:41:59
2. Eduard Nikolaev (RUS) +00:02:35
3. Andrey Karginov (RUS) +00:05:23
4. Jaroslav Valtr (CZE) +00:13:38
5. Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS) +00:13:4
1. Marcos Patronelli (ARG) 05:41:18
2. Alejandro Patronelli (ARG) +00:05:42
3. Alexis Hernandez (PER) +00:09:17
4. Lucas Bonetto (ARG) +00:09:56
5. Sergei Kariakin (RUS) +00:16:41
2016 Dakar Rally overall standings
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) 26:01:44
2. Carlos Sainz (ESP) +00:02:09
3. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) +00:14:43
4. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) +00:36:42
5. Leeroy Poulter (ZAF) +00:49:32
7. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF) +00:54:49
8. Sébastien Loeb (FRA) +01:05:16
1. Toby Price (AUS) 27:28:56
2. Paulo Gonçalves (POR) +00:02:05
3. Stefan Svitko (SVK) +00:14:14
4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL) +00:21:26
5. Kevin Benavides (ARG) +00:25:5
1. Gerard de Rooy (NLD) 25:49:26
2. Eduard Nikolaev (RUS) +00:07:58
3. Pieter Versluis (NLD) +00:13:29
4. Hans Stacey (NLD) +00:20:46
5. Ayrat Mardeev (RUS) +00:22:21
1. Marcos Patronelli (ARG) 32:47:25
2. Alejandro Patronelli (ARG) +00:02:06
3. Alexis Hernandez (PER) +00:32:50
4. Sergei Kariakin (RUS) +00:43:56
5. Jeremias Gonzalez (ARG) +00:46:17