DAKAR 2015 DAY 8: Alrajhi takes stage with Nasser still leading
Saudi Arabian driver Yazeed Alrajhi continued his impressive performance in this year’s event by taking his first stage win in yesterday’s marathon 784 km loop from Uyuni to Iquique.
On a day in which the remaining 76 cars started the first 100 km off on the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt pan, Alrajhi and his German co-driver Timo Gottschalk eventually clinched the stage a mere 1 min 12 sec ahead of the Mini of Orlando Terranova with overall rally leader Nasser Al-Attiyah finishing third, 2 min 39 sec behind.
South Africa’s 2010 Dakar winner, Giniel de Villiers, completed the stage in fourth position ahead of the Mini’s of Krzysztof Holowczyc and reigning Nani Roma with former winner Stefan Peterhansel finishing in seventh place, 3 min 46 sec behind Alrajhi.
Despite suffering from a bout of altitude sickness during most of the stage and in the previous leg, Al-Attiyah extended his lead over de Villiers to 8 min 27 sec, after the Toyota Hilux driver had trimmed the Qatari’s lead on the previous stage to just over seven minutes.
His stage win sees Alrajhi now in a commanding third place, 36 minutes ahead of fourth placed Holowczyc, the Toyota of Dutchman Bernhard ten Brinke and the Mini of Erik van Loon.
After picking up a 40-min time penalty due to missing a waypoint on stage six, the second South African entered Imperial Hilux of Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie clocked the 22nd fastest time to place 17th overall, four hours 44 min 37 sec behind leader Al-Attiyah. Another constant performance saw Johan van Staden and Mike Lawerson bringing their Nissan Navara across the line in 41st position and 33rd overall.
Following a rest day for the motorcycles on Saturday, stage seven saw Portuguese Honda rider, Paulo Goncalves, taking only his second ever Dakar stage victory, a scant 14 seconds ahead of defending champion Marc Coma and Austrian rookie Matthias Walkner.
In the overall standings, Spain’s Joan Barreda now leads KTM mounted fellow Spaniard Coma by 6 min 28 with Goncalves just under 11 min behind the leader in third, and Chilean Pablo Quintanilla 25 min behind in fourth.
With no competitive running for the cars and trucks today due to the rest day, the bikes and quads will take part in the marathon stage before linking-up for Tuesday’s 450 km stage from Iquique to Calama.
STAGE 8 - OVERALL STANDINGS (CARS)
|1.||Nasser Al-Attiyah||Mathieu Baumel||QAT / FRA||Mini||26:41:15|
|2.||Giniel de Villiers||Dirk von Zitzewits||RSA / GER||Toyota||+00:08:27|
|3.||Yazeed Alrajhi||Timo Gottschalk||SAU / GER||Toyota||+00:18:40|
|4.||Krzysztof Holowczyc||Xavier Panseri||POL / FRA||Mini||+00:54:38|
|5.||Bernhard ten Brinke||Tom Colsoul||NLD / BEL||Toyota||+01:22:52|
|6.||Erik van Loon||Wouter Rosegaar||NLD / NLD||Mini||+01:25:51|
|7.||Christian Lavieille||Pascal Maimon||FRA / FRA||Toyota||+01:48:41|
|8.||Stefan Peterhansel||Jean-Paul Cottret||FRA / FRA||Peugeot||+01:51:46|
|9.||Carlos Sousa||Paulo Fiuza||POR / POR||Mitsubishi||+02:07:13|
|10.||Ronan Chabot||Gilles Pillot||FRA / FRA||SMG||+02:26:50|
STAGE 7 - OVERALL STANDINGS (BIKES)
CAPTION: The South African built Toyota Hilux of Saudi Arabia's Yazeed Alrajhi in action during yesterday's eighth stage of the 2015 Dakar. IMAGE sourced from www.tf1.fr
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