Though issues lastly rotated for Audi, extra ache got here after a dashing penalty for Carlos Sainz that gave Stage 8 honors to Sebastien Loeb.
Sainz was in high kind on the 367km particular between Al Duwadimi and Riyadh, placing Audi’s many setbacks behind him to dominate the stage.
The 2-time WRC world champion led at each checkpoint to complete one minute and 39 seconds away from nearest challenger Loeb.
Nonetheless, Audi’s much-needed celebrations after Stephane Peterhansel was pressured to retire had been shortly dashed as Sainz was handed a five-minute penalty for dashing.
The setback dropped him from first to 3rd, behind Loeb and Nasser Al-Attiyah.
It gave Loeb his second stage win of a rally occasion, which featured some highs, however loads of lows for the Bahrain Raid Xtreme driver, who moved as much as fourth after being outdoors the highest 30 for one stage.
Total chief Nasser Al-Attiyah loved one other clear and constant day to complete second, two minutes and 11 seconds behind Loeb to guard his lead.
His Toyota Gazoo Racing teammate Henk Lategan impressed to make it into the highest 4, forward of subsequent greatest Jakub Przygonski.
As the sector entered the mid-event relaxation day, Al-Attiyah had a good grip on the vehicles classification, with a 1H03’46” lead over Toyota teammate Letegan.
Overdrive Racing’s Lucas Moraes was third forward of Loeb with constant gaps of round 25 minutes separating the minor locations.
Taylor overcame brake and crash dramas to take a powerful outcome
Australian Molly Taylor loved certainly one of her most efficient and vital days of the 2023 Dakar Rally up to now with a powerful efficiency on Stage 8.
Taylor and co-driver Andrew Brief completed sixth within the T4 Modified Manufacturing SSV class, which equaled the perfect stage end within the rally, recording the identical place on day two.
The South Racing Can-Am crew raced to complete as excessive as P4 within the extremely aggressive stage received by Jermias Gonzalez Ferioli.
However with simply four-and-a-half minutes separating the highest six, Taylor was pressured to accept sixth, however can take enormous confidence from the nice efficiency.
He nonetheless sits eleventh within the T4 Modified Manufacturing SSV class, however is simply 5 minutes away from the highest 10.
Taylor was buzzing after the stage, remembering the moments the place the robust outcome nearly did not occur.
“There are plenty of nice tales from the primary stage of the marathon,” he mentioned.
“P6 is an excellent outcome for us and we have been operating P4 for a lot of phases, so it is actually promising.
“About 10 or 20km in we misplaced 60-70% of the brakes, so there was a very lengthy pedal and fairly on the finish, so there have been some bushy moments the place we needed to make some new strains as a result of we could not get out in time, however in this type of terrain we are able to hold very quick.
“As we obtained to one of many large dunes and simply crept to the highest, a T1 Hilux got here the opposite method and T-boned us sq. in Andrew’s door.
“However fortuitously it solely hit the bodywork and we misplaced spare components, so it was worse.
“Then we cracked for the remainder of the stage and a automobile did a front-end flip in entrance of us and we missed it.
“Each stage there are issues it’s important to adapt to and we had a ball at this time.”
Drivers and riders can get pleasure from a great relaxation tonight earlier than the rally begins with a 358km particular from Riyadh and Haradh on Tuesday.
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