Serradori edges Alonso to Dakar stage eight win, Sainz holds lead

Valentin Khorounzhiy
Sainz holds lead as Alonso beaten to stage win
Sainz holds lead as Alonso beaten to stage win

Mathieu Serradori edged Fernando Alonso to top the eighth stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally, amid a low-key showing for the marathon's leading contenders.

Serradori claimed a first-ever stage win for himself and his South African-built Century CR6 buggy in the 294.53-mile loop around Wadi ad-Dawasir.

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Though he was only one of several drivers with similar frontrunning pace in the early parts of the stage, Serradori was in a league of his own in the second half and finished four minutes faster than Alonso's Toyota.

The two-time Formula 1 champion nevertheless recorded his best Dakar stage finish yet, having previously been classified no higher than fourth.

The stage win has allowed Serradori to overhaul another Toyota driver Bernhard ten Brinke for seventh place in the general classification, with Serradori having surrendered the spot on Sunday after getting stuck on a dune.

Opening the road after his victory in the seventh stage - and with no bike tracks to follow given their stage was cancelled in the aftermath of the passing of veteran rider Paulo Goncalves - rally leader Carlos Sainz (pictures above) endured a difficult start to competition on Monday.

Sainz holds lead as Alonso beaten to stage win
Sainz holds lead as Alonso beaten to stage win

Over the first 93 miles, Sainz lost 15 minutes relative to the fastest runners, and eight relative to his nearest rival - Toyota's reigning champion Nasser Al-Attiyah.

But having been passed by both Al-Attiyah and the fellow X-raid Mini buggy of Stephane Peterhansel in the stage, and with the threat of losing his overall lead looming large, Sainz recovered and caught up to his two main adversaries, and the trio finished in close proximity.

And though he wound up 19 minutes slower than Serradori on the day, Sainz gave up just over three minutes to Al-Attiyah and six to Peterhansel, meaning he retains a 6m40s lead over the former in the general classification.

Mini driver Orlando Terranova and the Toyota pair of Giniel de Villiers and Yazeed Al-Rajhi completed the top five on the day behind Serradori and Alonso.

The trio remain in pursuit of Sainz, Al-Attiyah and Peterhansel in the overall race, but Al-Rajhi, who sits best of the rest in fourth, remains over half an hour adrift of the marathon leader.

Mini driver Yasir Seaidan - ninth in the overall standings - was in the mix for the stage win for much of the day, but lost 40 minutes after getting stuck in the sand with just over 30 miles left to run.

Leading stage eight times

Pos

Driver

Team

Car

Gap

1

Mathieu Serradori

SRT Racing

Century/?

3h48m23.s

2

Fernando Alonso

Toyota Gazoo Racing

Toyota

4m04.s

3

Orlando Terranova

X-Raid Team

Mini/BMW

6m19.s

4

Giniel de Villiers

Toyota Gazoo Racing

Toyota

6m29.s

5

Yazeed Al-Rajhi

Overdrive Toyota

Toyota

7m16.s

6

Jakub Przygonski

Orlen X-Raid Team

Mini/BMW

9m29.s

7

Bernhard Ten Brinke

Toyota Gazoo Racing

Toyota

10m19.s

8

Erik van Loon

Overdrive Toyota

Toyota

12m41.s

9

Stephane Peterhansel

Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team

Mini/BMW

13m11.s

10

Nani Roma

Borgward Rally Team

Borgward

14m33.s

11

Nasser Al-Attiyah

Toyota Gazoo Racing

Toyota

15m55.s

12

Peter van Merksteijn

Overdrive Toyota

Toyota

16m38.s

13

Wei Han

Geely Auto Shell Lubricant Team

Hanwei/Geely

17m05.s

14

Pierre Lachaume

PH-Sport

Peugeot

18m00.s

15

Carlos Sainz

Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team

Mini/BMW

19m15.s

16

Jerome Pelichet

Raidlynx

Optimus/MD

20m09.s

17

Benediktas Vanagas

General Financing Team Pitlane

Toyota

20m52.s

18

Jean Remy Bergounhe

SRT Racing

Buggy/?

22m00.s

19

Vaidotas Zala

Agrorodeo

Mini/BMW

26m49.s

20

Antanas Juknevicius

Kreda

Toyota

27m46.s

21

Alexander Dorosinskiy

X-Raid Mini John Cooper Works Rally Team

Mini/BMW

28m18.s

22

Martin Prokop

MP Sports

Ford

31m12.s

23

Ronan Chabot

Overdrive Toyota

Toyota

34m51.s

24

Jianyun Jin

Keepower Motorsport MD

MD/?

34m58.s

25

Miroslav Zapletal

Offroad Kazakhstan

Ford

40m50.s

26

Yasir Saeidan

Race World Team

Mini/BMW

42m50.s

27

Pascal Thomasse

Keepower Motorsport MD

MD

43m11.s

28

Tomas Ourednicek

Ultimate Dakar

Ford

52m13.s

29

Andrey Cherednikov

Offroad Kazakhstan

Ford

53m26.s

30

Jean-Pierre Strugo

MD Rallye Sport

MD

54m13.s

31

Hennie De Klerk

Treasuryone

Nissan

58m20.s

32

Dominique Housieaux

MD Rallye Sport

MD

59m50.s

33

Manuel Plaza Perez

Sodicars Racing

Sodicars/?

1h05m05.s

34

Thomas Bell

Sabertooth Motoring Adventure/Red-Lined

Nissan

1h05m37.s

35

Tim Coronel

Maxxis Dakar Team

Jefferies/?

1h11m45.s

36

Quan Ruan

Qian'An Jiu Jiang Landsail Racing Club

Chevrolet

1h14m32.s

37

Oscar Fuertes

Ssangyong

Ssangyong

1h15m18.s

38

Christian Lavieille

Toyota Auto Body

Toyota

1h15m36.s

39

Maik Willems

Bastion Hotels Dakar Team

Toyota

1h16m05.s

40

Cristina Gutierrez Herrero

Mitsubishi/ Sodicars Racing

Mitsubishi

1h17m37.s

41

Gintas Petrus

Petrus Racing

Toyota

1h18m43.s

42

Philippe Boutron

Sodicars Racing

Sodicars/?

1h27m24.s

43

Akira Miura

Toyota Auto Body

Toyota

1h37m55.s

44

Roman Starikovich

Autolife

Toyota

1h42m13.s

45

Jerome Renaud

Team SSP

Rover

1h53m44.s

46

Sebastian Guayasamin

Sodicars Racing

Chevrolet

1h56m34.s

47

Jesus Calleja

Overdrive Toyota

Toyota

1h57m53.s

48

Marco Carrara

R Team

Mitsubishi

2h00m39.s

49

Xavier Foj

Foj Motorsport

Toyota

2h07m04.s

50

Juan Carlos Vallejo

Team Proraid Peru

Volkswagen

2h09m48.s

51

Markus Walcher

Enduro XXX

Bowler/?

2h11m15.s

52

Teun Stam

Schijf Rally

Toyota

2h21m28.s

53

Mohamad Altwijri

Altuwaijri Racing Team

Toyota

2h23m42.s

54

Alexandre Pesci

RD Limited

Rebellion/?

2h27m54.s

55

Gerard Tramoni

Team 100% Sud Ouest

Land Rover

2h30m49.s

56

Denis Krotov

MSK Rally Team

Mini/BMW

2h41m29.s

57

Francois Cousin

Compagnie Des Dunes

Nissan

2h44m16.s

58

Marco Piana

Xtremeplus Polaris Factory Team

Toyota

2h46m44.s

59

Yuqiao Zhao

Qian'An Jiu Jiang Landsail Racing Club

Chevrolet

3h06m29.s

60

Thierry Richard

Sodicars Racing

Nissan

3h17m08.s

61

Philippe Raud

Sodicars Racing

Toyota

3h28m28.s

62

Pablo Canto Martinez

Fusiona

Toyota

3h35m09.s

63

Joan Font

FN Speed Team

Toyota

5h00m50.s

64

Fernanda Kanno

De 0 Al Dakar

Toyota

5h19m29.s

65

Andrea Schiumarini

R Team

Mitsubishi

5h55m57.s

66

Boris Vaculik

3RCZ.COM

Ford

51h15m42.s

Leading positions

Pos

Driver

Team

Car

Gap

1

Carlos Sainz

Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team

Mini/BMW

31h56m52.s

2

Nasser Al-Attiyah

Toyota Gazoo Racing

Toyota

6m40.s

3

Stephane Peterhansel

Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team

Mini/BMW

13m09.s

4

Yazeed Al-Rajhi

Overdrive Toyota

Toyota

32m25.s

5

Orlando Terranova

X-Raid Team

Mini/BMW

43m02.s

6

Giniel de Villiers

Toyota Gazoo Racing

Toyota

53m12.s

7

Mathieu Serradori

SRT Racing

Century/?

1h02m42.s

8

Bernhard Ten Brinke

Toyota Gazoo Racing

Toyota

1h07m00.s

9

Yasir Saeidan

Race World Team

Mini/BMW

2h37m18.s

10

Wei Han

Geely Auto Shell Lubricant Team

Hanwei/Geely

3h06m20.s

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