Copiapo > Antofagasta
After two days in the Copiapo region including the Rest Day, it is time for the rally to press on, Northwards! Today we leave the dunes and return to the mud and rocks for a 477km special which at one point climbs to 3000m. This is the longest stage of the rally, but it is expected to be fast.
At the halfway stage of the Dakar 2012, let’s look at what’s new to the rally. First a visit to the new opening city Mara del Plata in Argentina, before looking ahead to the Peruvian stages coming later in the week which are new to this year’s event.
Stage 8 Summary:
Trouble for Despres and Goncalves..
“Fesh Fesh” is my new favourite term just for how it sounds, but the racers hate it. Fine dusty sand which gets everywhere.
Today – Bikes
Sadly, Lopez withdrew before this stage due to a fall on stage 7.
After the first seven motorcycles went through and were getting stuck, the organisers modified the course and sent the others around the area. Because of this they have decided to modify the times of those first seven riders to give them back some of the time lost, however Despres still lost time to the rest.
1. Coma (KTM)
2. Ullevalseter (KTM) +1m55s
3. Faria (KTM) +7m00s
4. Rodrigues (Yamaha) +7m10s
5. Barreda Bort (Husqvarna) +8m44s
Overall – Bikes
1. Coma (KTM)
2. Despres (KTM) +1m26s
3. Rodrigues (Yamaha) +49m01s
4. Casteu (Yamaha) +1h09m52s
5. Goncalves (Husqvarna) +1h12m11s
Coma to the lead! Goncalves also got stuck and drops a place to 5th, moving Casteu up to 4th.
Today – Cars
1. Roma (MINI)
2. Gordon (Hummer) +5s
3. Holowczyc (MINI) +2m04s
4. Peterhansel (MINI) +5m38s
5. Al-Attiyah (Hummer) +8m09s
Wow, a stage win by just 5 seconds!
Overall – Cars
1. Peterhansel (MINI)
2. Gordon (Hummer) +7m36s
3. Holowczyc (MINI) +7m48s
4. Roma (MINI) +12m27s
5. De Villiers (Toyota) +37m45s
Gordon took 5 minutes from Peterhansel, he’s up to second place and closing in.