DAKAR: Loeb snatches overall lead with stage win

2017-01-10 22:35:02

Peugeot's Sebastien Loeb edged teammate Stephane Peterhansel to pick up his third stage win and take the overall lead of the Dakar Rally after Stage 8.

The stage, which left the plains of Uyuni and moved toward Argentina, was again affected by weather as previous rain caused rivers to flood, forcing organizers to change the route with a neutralized zone at the end of the Bolivian part of the special rather than its scheduled split between the two countries.

Loeb gained ground in Argentina, but was felled for a bit by a puncture that cut his win to over three minutes. For the first time since Stage 2, Peugeot swept the top three spots. Peterhansel now trails overall by 1m38s; Cyril Despres also lost ground, falling more than 17 minutes back.

In the bikes category, Joan Barreda became the first in the category to pick up a second stage win, followed in second by Matthias Walkner, 3m51s behind. Sam Sunderland's lead is 20 minutes ahead of Chile's Pablo Quintanilla and almost 29 minutes better than Adrien Van Beveren of France.

Sunderland sustained some damage, including the loss of his rear brake.

"It was really, really wet and really difficult to pass in some places," he said. "I stopped a few times to change my goggles and change my gloves and silly things, just because it was too much. I couldn't see the road-book. I couldn't see where I was going.

"It's been a long stage. The second part was going good, but then it was a bit frustrating. I was crossing a river full of stones and I managed to clip the rear disk and bent the disk, so for the last one hundred kilometers I had no rear brake which makes things a little bit interesting on a surface like this, a kind of WRC-style hard-pack that was really slippery. I had a few scary moments with the braking, but I tried to keep in mind that I had no rear brake. ... I'm happy to finish the second day of the marathon stage. I don't want to think about victory at all. We've got a long way to go and the state of the overall standings can change in one day."

Martin Van Den Brink earned his second stage victory in the trucks category, edging Ferderico Villagra by just 17 seconds. Dmitry Sotnikov still leads the category by 1m46s. 2014 Dakar winner Ignacio Casale took the quad win for the first time this year with a 5m39s lead over overall leader Sergey Karyakin. Axel Dutrie finished third.


Subscribe to Racer


Video: The 2017 Champions Issue

The 2017 Champions Issue of RACER is on sale now. Click here for more information.


RACER Magazine 25th Anniversary Video

33 years of SportsCar magazine history.

See more than 50 On Board videos.