After yesterday’s marathon Stage, Toyota Gazoo’s Nasser Al-Attiyah dropped close to eight minutes behind X-Raid’s Stephan Peterhansel in the overall standing. But a great run and Stage 8 win has brought the Qatari within the fighting distance as he bagged his fourth Stage win this year.
Another contender and defending champion Carlos Sainz finished second, just 52 seconds behind Nasser closing his gap in the overall standing. Sainz is now 38:55 seconds behind Peterhansel. Nasser took an early lead from Sainz. But there was an interesting bout that went down between Peterhansel and Nasser at the fourth waypoint. Finally, the Toyota Gazoo secured a lead two waypoints before the finish line.
Meanwhile, Khalid Al-Qassimi finished fourth making it his best finish this season. He was followed by his teammate Cyril Despres mere five seconds adrift. Second Toyota in the top 10 was Jakub Przygonski. He was followed by factory-run Shameer Variawa in the sixth place. Privateer in a Ford Martin Porkop squeezed in at ninth behind Vladimir Vasilyev in X-Raid Mini 4x4 but ahead of Team MD Rallye’s Christian Lavieille.
WRC champion Sebastien Loeb is having a tough run this season. Plagued punctures and lack of spares Loeb is struggling. But his teammate Nani Roma is going strong in fifth overall despite his 19th position finish in Stage 8.
Now that the Marathon stages are done, Peterhansel is going strong in the overall standings but Attiyah is now closing in. Sainz might be praying for a miracle to grab back the title this year still trailing by more than 30minutes.