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Dakar Rally: Peterhansel keeps advantage over Al-Attiyah

Stephane Peterhansel, X-raid Mini, Dakar 2013Stephane Peterhansel retains a 3m14s lead heading into the second half of the 2013 Dakar Rally after organisers finalised the results from Saturday's disrupted stage.

Only five cars reached the end of the stage as many competitors became stuck around a swollen riverbed, leading to the stage's neutralisation.

Dakar officials ultimately decided that the times of those who had made the finish should stand, but that everyone else should be given the same time as Peterhansel, the last man to reach the finish before the stage was halted.

Peterhansel was 12 minutes slower than pacesetter Guerlain Chicherit, having made the same navigational error as a number of motorcycle riders and travelled an additional five kilometres.

His main rival Nasser Al-Attiyah would have been able to capitalise on this, having set the early pace on the stage, but the Qatari's Red Bull Buggy was one of those stuck at the riverbed.

With Peterhansel and Al-Attiyah ultimately awarded the same time, the previous 3m14s gap between them will remain in place when the rally resumes on Monday after the halfway rest day.

Although there were initially suggestions of a protest against the handling of the results, AUTOSPORT understands that this will not now take place.

Chicherit's stage win in the SMG Buggy moves him closer to Leonid Novitskiy's fourth place.

Giniel de Villiers continues to hold third.

AUTOSPORT Dakar blogs:

Race2Recovery: A different kind of battle
AUTOSPORT's Sam Tremayne with X-raid

Leading positions after stage eight:

Pos  Driver                Team/Car            Time/Gap
 1.  Stephane Peterhansel  X-raid Mini        18h31m04s
 2.  Nasser Al-Attiyah     Red Bull Buggy       + 3m14s
 3.  Giniel de Villiers    Imperial Toyota     + 44m03s
 4.  Leonid Novitskiy      X-raid Mini         + 48m54s
 5.  Guerlain Chicherit    SMG Buggy         + 1h04m50s
 6.  Ronan Chabot          SMG Buggy         + 1h34m51s
 7.  Nani Roma             X-raid Mini       + 1h38m27s
 8.  Orlando Terranova     X-raid BMW        + 1h58m25s
 9.  Bernard Errandonea    SMG Buggy         + 2h02m18s
10.  Carlos Sousa          Great Wall        + 2h07m29s

Stage eight times:

Pos  Driver                Team/Car            Time/Gap
 1.  Guerlain Chicherit    SMG Buggy           1h55m06s
 2.  Orlando Terranova     X-raid BMW           + 4m02s
 3.  Robby Gordon          Gordon Hummer        + 5m17s
 4.  Stephane Peterhansel  X-raid Mini         + 12m15s
 5.  Nani Roma             X-raid Mini         + 15m43s
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