Nasser Al-Attiyah maintained his Dakar Rally lead at eight minutes as the event reached its rest day, with fellow World Rally Championship regular Yazeed Al-Rajhi scoring his first stage win.
Giniel de Villiers had carved three minutes out of Al-Attiyah's lead on stage seven on Saturday, and made further gains early on stage eight, helped by his X-raid Mini driver stopping to change a wheel after a puncture
But Al-Attiyah was able to peg the Imperial Toyota back late on the stage, with de Villiers frustrated by a low-flying helicopter affecting his vision.
Al-Attiyah therefore maintained his outright cushion at 8m27s heading into Monday's break.
The run back from Uyuni to Iquique was split into three: an initial 293-mile run - much of it flat-out on salt flats - followed by a 170-mile neutralised section then a final 24-mile sprint to the finish.
It formed the second leg of a 'marathon' stage with Saturday's special, with crews unable to call on team assistance through the weekend and not returning to the service bivouac until Sunday night.
Dakar rookie Al-Rajhi consolidated his current third place overall by claiming his maiden stage win in his Toyota, beating Orlando Terranova by 1m12s. Al-Attiyah and de Villiers were next up.
Stephane Peterhansel was the top Peugeot in seventh, keeping him in eighth place on the outright leaderboard.
LEADING STAGE EIGHT TIMES:
|1||Yazeed Al-Rajhi||Yazeed Racing||Toyota||3h26m49.s|
|2||Orlando Terranova||Monster Energy Rally Raid Team||Mini/BMW||1m12.s|
|3||Nasser Al-Attiyah||Qatar Rally Team||Mini/BMW||2m36.s|
|4||Giniel de Villiers||Toyota Imperial Team South Africa||Toyota||2m49.s|
|5||Krzysztof Holowczyc||Monster Energy Rally Raid Team||Mini/BMW||3m12.s|
|6||Nani Roma||Monster Energy Rally Raid Team||Mini/BMW||3m24.s|
|7||Stephane Peterhansel||Team Peugeot Total||Peugeot||3m46.s|
|8||Vladimir Vasilyev||Vasilyev Racing Team||Mini/BMW||6m00.s|
|9||Boris Garafulic||Team X-Raid Gmbh||Mini/BMW||10m09.s|
|10||Carlos Sousa||Mitsubishi Petrobras||Mitsubishi||11m17.s|
LEADING OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE EIGHT:-