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Dakar 2020, Stage 8: Serradori beats Alonso to maiden win

Motor Sport 2020-01-13 15:16:00

Serradori claimed a first-ever stage win for himself and his South African-built Century CR6 buggy in the 474km loop around Wadi ad-Dawasir.

Though he was only one of several drivers with similar frontrunning pace in the early parts of the stage, Serradori was in a league of his own in the second half of the test and finished four minutes faster than Alonso's Toyota.

The two-time Formula 1 champion nevertheless recorded his best Dakar stage finish yet, having previously been classified no higher than fourth.

The stage win has allowed Serradori to overhaul another Toyota driver Bernhard ten Brinke for seventh place in the general classification, with Serradori having surrendered the spot on Sunday after getting stuck on a dune.

Opening the road after his victory in the seventh stage - and with no bike tracks to follow given their stage was cancelled in the aftermath of the passing of veteran rider Paulo Goncalves - rally leader Carlos Sainz endured a difficult start to competition on Monday.

Over the first 150km, Sainz lost 15 minutes relative to the fastest runners, and eight relative to his nearest rival - Toyota's reigning champion Nasser Al-Attiyah.

But having been passed by both Al-Attiyah and the fellow X-raid Mini buggy of Stephane Peterhansel, and with the threat of losing his overall lead looming large, Sainz recovered and caught up to his two main adversaries, and the trio finished in close proximity.

Though he wound up 19 minutes slower than Serradori on the day, Sainz gave up just over three minutes to Al-Attiyah and six to Peterhansel, meaning he retains a 6m40s lead over the former in the general classification.

Mini driver Orlando Terranova and the Toyota pair of Giniel de Villiers and Yazeed Al-Rajhi completed the top five on the day behind Serradori and Alonso.

The trio remain in pursuit of Sainz, Al-Attiyah and Peterhansel overall, but Al-Rajhi, who sits best of the rest in fourth, remains over half an hour adrift of the marathon leader.

Another Mini driver, Yasir Seaidan - ninth in the overall standings - was in the mix for the stage win for much of the day, but lost 40 minutes after getting stuck in the sand with 50km left to run.

General classification (top 10):

Pos. # Driver / Co-driver Car Time Gap
1 305

Carlos Sainz

Lucas Cruz

Mini 31h56m52s  
2 300

Nasser Al-Attiyah

Mathieu Baumel

Toyota 32h3m32s 6m40s
3 302 Stephane Peterhansel
Paulo Fiuza
Mini 32h10m1s 13m9s
4 309

Yazeed Al-Rajhi

Konstantin Zhiltsov

Toyota 32h29m17s 32m25s
5 311

Orlando Terranova

Bernardo Graue

Mini 32h39m54s 43m2s
6 304

Giniel de Villiers

Alex Haro

Toyota 32h50m4s 53m12s
7 315

Mathieu Serradori

Fabian Lurquin

Century 32h59m34s 1h2m42s
8 307

Bernhard ten Brinke

Tom Colsoul

Toyota 33h3m52s 1h7m0s
9 324

Yasir Seaidan

Alexy Kuzmich

Mini 34h34m10s 2h37m18s
10 322

Wei Han

Min Liao

Hanwei 35h3m12s 3h6m20s