The eighth stage of the 2017 Dakar, from Uyuni, Bolivia to Salta, Argentina, didn’t cause a lot of attention with its race action but due to the landslide caused by the torrential rain about 160 kilometres short of Salta. The landslide blocked the road the racing cars and service vehicles were supposed to use to get to the bivouac. At the beginning it wasn’t clear if it was possible for any vehicle to make it to Salta at all but in the meantime, the organisers seem to have found a solution. Furthermore, stage nine was cancelled.
In these circumstances, the result of the stage didn’t represent the No 1 headline. Mikko Hirvonen FIN / Michel Périn (FRA) set the fourth fastest time, with their MINI John Cooper Works Rally. The pairing holds fifth place in the overall standings and succeeded in slightly closing the gap to Nani Roma in fourth position.
The organiser cancelled tomorrow’s ninth stage, from Salta to Chilecito – the decision means that 42% (1,400 km) of so far planned special stages (3.300 km) have been called off due to poor weather. The majority of the cars will be able to make it to Salta today via an alternative route. This road is 200 kilometres longer than the original route and can’t be used by bigger vehicles. So, the Dakar fraternity is supposed to be reunited in Chilecito.
Dakar 2017 Result SS8:
1. S. Loeb (FRA) / D. Elena (MNC) Peugeot – 4h 11m 02s
2. S. Peterhansel (FRA) / J.-P. Cottret Peugeot – 4h 14m 37s
3. C. Despres (FRA) / D. Castera (FRA) Peugeot – 4h 16m 15s
4. M. Hirvonen (FIN) / M. Périn (FRA) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 4h 19m 16s
5. De Villiers (RSA) / D. Von Zitzewitz (GER) Toyota – 4h 22m 59s
6. O. Terranova (ARG) / A. Schulz (GER) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 4h 23m 40s
Dakar 2017 Overall standing after SS8:
1. S. Loeb (FRA) / D. Elena (MNC) Peugeot – 20h 10m 05s
2. S. Peterhansel (FRA) / J.-P. Cottret Peugeot – 20h 11m 43s
3. C. Despres (FRA) / D. Castera (FRA) Peugeot – 20h 27m 22s
4. N. Roma (ESP) / A. Haro (ESP) Toyota – 20h 33m 41s
5. M. Hirvonen (FIN) / M. Périn (FRA) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 21h 03m 46s