Dakar 2017 is only three stages away from completion and the battle among the Peugeot drivers is only getting tighter. Stage 8 saw Sebastien Loeb mark his 3rd stage win this year, more than any other driver while Stage 7 winner, Mr. Dakar, finished second ahead of Cyril Despres who completed a perfect 1-2-3 for Peugeot.
Loeb now leads the general classification in the cars category, with Stephane Peterhansel in second. The stage marked the final run in Bolivia after the competitors rallied from Uyuni to Salta in Argentina. Bad weather was once again a diminishing factor forcing the organizers to shorten the special stage and ultimately cancelling the second timed sector for trucks.
Even more, today’s stage from Salta to Chilecito was cancelled and again due to bad weather with most sectors experiencing floods.
Joan Barreda won the bikes category to mark his second stage win of the year but still has a significant time to overcome before catching up with overall leader Sam Sunderland. The latter completed this stage in third place behind fellow KTM rider Matthias Walkner. Ignacio Casale meanwhile scored his first stage victory in the quads category by beating overall leader Sergey Karyakin.
Martin van den Brink claimed his second stage win in the truck category yesterday driving for Renault, Iveco’s Federico Villagra came in second while Eduard Nikolaev put Kamaz in third. Dmitry Sotnikov leads the overall standings in another Kamaz ahead of Nikolaev and Iveco star Gerard de Rooy.
Drivers will now prepare for stage 10 tomorrow which starts in Chilecito all the way to San Juan.