Dakar: Alphand wins stage 8

Luc Alphand took his first stage victory on SS8 of the Telefonica Dakar Rally, but his Mitsubishi team-mate Stephane Peterhansel was only a minute and a half slower and still leads by over twenty minutes in the outright standings

Dakar: Alphand wins stage 8

There was a scare for Peterhansel when he hit engine problems late in the stage, but he reached the finish and is confident that any potential technical issues can be resolved before the action recommences (after tomorrow's official rest day) on Monday.

"40 km before the end of the stage, the engine made a very strange noise," said Peterhansel. "So I drove very carefully and slowly until the finish line to take care of the car. Then, to be sure not to take any risks, we preferred to be towed by Hiroshi (Masuoka) on the two last kilometres to the bivouac. I was a bit anxious, because I wasn't sure the engine wasn't going to blow up."

Despite his huge lead, Peterhansel does not feel he is driving at his best on this year's event.

"I haven't managed impressive performances, but being constant was at least a good choice," he said.

Alphand suggested that some form of team orders might now be applied to safeguard Mitsubishi's positions, especially given the dangerous nature of the Dakar stages.

"For the moment there's no team rule, but we really should calm down our driving rhythm," he said. "We saw a lot of crashes and it isn't necessary to take so many risks. So I think the team manager will give us team rules before Kiffa."

BMW drivers José-Luis Monterde and Nasser Al-Attiyah both escaped substantial accidents within 5km of each other early on stage eight, none of the crew members suffering injuries. Monterde eventually continued in 14th place, while Al-Attiyah retired - his accident being described as "impressive" by both Masuoka and third-placed Jutta Kleinschmidt.

Former leader Bruno Saby was again in trouble, losing three hours to the leaders after encountering wheel problems and requiring assistance from VW team-mate Juha Kankkunen. He continued and is now eighth overall.

NASCAR star Robby Gordon may be down in 17th after his earlier delays, but he continues to set quick times - going third fastest on today's stage.

"I attacked all day, and I'm a little disappointed to be only third on the stage," he said. "The two Mitsubishis went really, really fast today, too fast for me.

"It's frustrating because for me the final battle is over. Now I'll just look for some stage wins and get more experience for next year."



Peterhansel/Cottret (Mitsubishi) 22h45m57s
Alphand/Picard (Mitsubishi) 23h05m58s
Kleinschmidt/Pons (VW) 23h26m23s
Sousa/Della-Zotti (Nissan) 25h25m16s
De Villiers/Lurquin (Nissan) 25h48m59s
Masuoka/Schulz (Mitsubishi) 26h38m16s
Henrard/De Roissard (VW) 26h41m58s
Saby/Perin (VW) 29h3919s
Magnaldi/Forthomme (Honda) 29h45m45s
Servia Costa/Palacios (BMW) 30h14m12s

shares
comments
Win a chat with a Formula 1 star
Previous article

Win a chat with a Formula 1 star

Next article

Fleming graduates with Jenzer

Fleming graduates with Jenzer
The 2022 Autosport Awards winner using Esports as a launchpad Plus

The 2022 Autosport Awards winner using Esports as a launchpad

A trail blazed in Esports has inspired a revamp of the annual prize that aims to discover the best young engineering talent. Autosport met Autosport Williams Engineer of the Future winner Michael Preston

General
Jan 18, 2023
The plug in and play stand-ins who got their timing just right Plus

The plug in and play stand-ins who got their timing just right

Nyck de Vries’s Italian GP exploits weren’t the first post-eleventh-hour call-up in motorsport history, and won’t be the last either. Here are some offbeat tales from the past

General
Dec 26, 2022
Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past Plus

Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past

Rising sportscar star Adam Smalley had to pinch himself when offered the chance to drive the car that won the world’s most famous enduro in 1987

Historics
Sep 6, 2022
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return Plus

Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return

The iconic Lola name is being relaunched after it was taken over by new ownership. Part of that reboot is a planned return to racing, though the exact details of this are still to be finalised - though its new owner does have a desire to bring the brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours. But romanticism doesn't appear to be the driving force behind this renewed project...

General
Jul 14, 2022
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021