The South African Giniel De Villiers (Toyota) claimed victory in the car category in the ninth stage of the Dakar, starting and ending in Wadi Ad Dawasir, surpassing his compatriot and teammate Henk Lategan by just nine seconds.
The Spaniard Carlos Sainz finished in sixth position and despite being a short timed (special) stage -286 kilometers- the leader of the general classification, the Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota) completed the podium covered by the cars of the Japanese brand and increased by 1’7 ”his advantage in the general over the French Sebastien Loeb (Bahrain Raid Xtreme).
The alarm signal
A stage in which a De Villiers won, the 18th victory of his career on the Dakar, which leaves behind the controversy that enveloped his name in the first days competition in which he collided with two motorcycle riders and the second, the Moroccan Mohamed Said Aoulad Ali, did not help him.
This caused a five hour penalty which, however, was annulled days later. After hearing his statement first and then checking the ‘Sentinel’ system of his car, the commissioners determined a malfunction in it, since the intensity of the alarm signal that it emits can be described as “sufficient but not optimal”.
The stewards cannot clearly confirm whether the signal received by the team was really sufficient to activate the alarm in the car, so they revoked the penalty. Decision that allowed him to return fully to the fight to get a good position in the general car category; and after the victory of this Tuesday occupies the fifth place.
A classification of which Al-Attiyah comes out as a leader again. After losing seven minutes with Loeb, the Qatari recovered 1’7 “and leads him by 39’5”, which makes him cherish his fourth Dakar (winner in 2011, 2015 and 2019 with only three days of competition remaining.
The Spanish Carlos Sainz (Audi) got off to a bad start, in which he lost 1’42 ”in the first 40 kilometers of a short stage -287km- and finished in sixth position, 2’48” behind De Villiers. After occupying three of the first four positions in the eighth stage, the German brand and its innovative hybrid vehicle put its participants in the top nine; so it seems that have fixed the problems in the shock absorbers that weighed them down during the first week of competition.
Top five finishers of the ninth stage
1 – Giniel de Villiers (ZAF-Toyota): 2h23’8 ”
2 – Henk Lategan (ZAF-Toyota): a 9 ”
3 – Nasser Al-Attiyah (CAT-Toyota): 1’4 ”
4 – Mattias Ekstrom (SUE-Audi): 2’7 ”
5 – Sebastien Loeb (FRA-Bahrain Raid Xtreme): 2’11 ”.
The Chilean Nacho Cornejo (Honda) achieved his second stage victory of Dakar 2022 after winning the ninth, with the start and finish in Wadi Ad Dawasir, being the fastest in the last 100 kilometers of the special stage, in which the British Sam Sunderland (Gas Gas) lost the lead of the motorcycle general in favor of the Austrian Matthias Walkner (KTM).
Argentine Kevin Benavides was second (KTM). The current champion on two wheels finished 1’26 ”behind Cornejo, which serves to cut slightly in the general; standing 10’22 ”from revalidating his trophy. For his part, American Ricky Brabec (Honda), who dominated the first half of the special, completed the motorcycle podium, but it is not enough for him to get close in the general standings since he only surpassed the new leader by 19 ”.
A fourth place for Walkner that serves him for take back the place of honor from the British Sam Sunderland (Gas Gas). He opened the track and left 8’3 ”compared to Cornejo, but he will start tomorrow Wednesday from a good position for the longest special of the remainder of Dakar -374 kilometers- and which will be marked by navigation.
The 287 km of this Tuesday were once again a demonstration of overcoming for the Spanish Joan Barreda. Despite the fact that the fall he suffered this Monday caused the pain in his clavicle to increase, which he has fractured from the fifth stage, Honda’s was always in the top positions until he finished fifth at 2’10 ”behind Cornejo. Resisting the intense pain that even, as he revealed when he arrived at the camp after the eighth stage, has made him pilot with one hand, he places himself 10’57 ”behind the leader of the general classification.
Top five finishers of the eighth stage
1 – Nacho Cornejo (CHI-Honda): 2h29’30 ”
2 – Kevin Benavides (ARG-KTM): 1’26 ”
3 – Ricky Brabec (USA-Honda): 1’47 ”
4 – Matthias Walkner (AUT-KTM): a 2’6 ”
5 – Joan Barreda (ESP-Honda): 2’10 ”.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.