Stephane Peterhansel has bagged his first Stage win this year inching closer to sealing his 14th Dakar title. Finishing with a time of 04h 50' 27'', the French legend finished 12 minutes clear of Nasser Al-Attiyah. He is now 17:50 minutes ahead of the Qatari in the overall standings.
Where Peterhansel had a near flawless run, Toyota Gazoo’s Attiyah suffered not one but two punctures followed by a navigation trouble. Meanwhile, the defending champion Carlos Sainz had a difficult day too. After stopping to fix a busted brake on his X-Raid buggy, he lost 22minutes to Peterhansel with his 11th place finish.
Taking third in Stage 9, Giniel de Villiers got his second-best finish this season. Yazeed Al Rajhi took fourth just 25seconds behind in Overdrive Toyota. After a troubled run in the last Stage, Brian Baragwanath in the Century buggy finished fifth. Driving the sole Ford, Martin Prokop finished sixth ahead of Cyril Despres and Khalid Al Qassimi who took seventh and eight respectively. Nani Roma, the sole survivor in his Team BRX managed a 10th place finish. His teammate and WRC champion Sebastien Loeb retired from Dakar after Stage 8.
With just three stages to go, the competition may or may not see any dramatic finale. Stay tuned for all the updates.