Dakar Rally competitors hit the road for 8th stage
The 2019 Dakar Rally’s 8th stage gets underway Tuesday with 10 motorcyclists, 10 automobiles and five trucks taking the road in Peru.
The 25 vehicles will set out one by one every three minutes, and the rest of the caravan will take off in stages according to the usual Dakar order, so that the motorcycles leave first, followed by the cars and last of all the trucks.
Under these circumstances, the first to hit the road today will be three motorcycles and a car, handled by Britain’s Sam Sunderland (KTM), Chile’s Nacho Cornejo ( Honda ), the American Ricky Brabec (Honda) and Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel (Mini), respectively.
Next come another three motorcycles and another car in the hands of France’s Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha), the Argentine Luciano Benavides (KTM), America’s Andrew Short (Husqvarna) and the Spaniard Joan “Nani” Roma (Mini).
Within this order of 25 vehicles, the last five will be the trucks of the Netherlands’ Gerard De Rooy (Iveco), Belarus’s Siarhei Viazovich, the Russian Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz), Argentina’s Federico Villagra (Iveco) and the Netherlands’ Maurik Van den Heuvel (Iveco).
Getting into gear behind this group and outside that special order will be the Chilean Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) and the Argentine Kevin Benavides (Honda), with the uncertainty about whether starting out last will help or hurt them, since they could find the road ahead left in bad shape thanks to the truck tires.
Both the Chilean and the Argentine must do everything in their power to cut the distance between themselves and Brabec, leader in the general motorcycle classification.
Among the car drivers, Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar, leader in the category, has a half-hour advantage over Peterhansel and will seek to commit the fewest possible errors to hang onto that advantage.
The Dakar Rally’s 8th stage runs from San Juan de Marcona to Pisco, covering 575 kilometers (357 miles), of which 360 kilometers (223 miles) are timed.