Many of the competitors and spectators anticipated that the eight stage of the Dakar would be a long and challenging one. Unfortunately, though, torrential rains and flash floods brought the day’s racing to an abrupt end for many. In total, only twelve cars managed to complete the stage, and organisers had no option but to cut the stage short.
The day’s racing was called off at the second checkpoint – about 88km into the stage – where a surging river made it impossible for competitors to cross. It has not been decided yet how the cancelation will influence the overall standings. The stage will either be scrubbed completely, or the times posted at checkpoint 2 will be taken into account. For now, however, standings remain unchanged from those of Stage 7.
“Everything was going smoothly for us, we were putting the pedal on the metal, and everything was fine,” commented Nasser Al-Attiyah. “When we got to the río, there were three metres of water, there was no way we could cross that. So we called the organisers, who told us the stage had been neutralised at CP2.”
“It was quite a challenging stage! We didn’t get stuck in the water. We simply couldn’t cross, it was over 1.50 m deep and we saw the water flowing down towards us,” said Giniel de Villiers.
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|Stage 8 Results (Overall Standing)|
|3||301||De Villiers (ZAF)