Dakar: Stage eight Atar to Tichit notes

Atar to Tichit Connection: 35 km - Special: 589 km - Connection: 2 km Total: 626 km General: 05:45 -STAGE 8: ATAR -- TICHIT 626 km, including 589 km against the clock, are on the menu of the eighth stage. The competitors who will be fairly ...

Atar to Tichit
Connection: 35 km - Special: 589 km - Connection: 2 km
Total: 626 km

General:

05:45 -STAGE 8: ATAR -- TICHIT
626 km, including 589 km against the clock, are on the menu of the eighth stage. The competitors who will be fairly relaxed after the rest day will have to go through probably the most difficult special stage of the rally and certainly the longest one. On the programme are a varied route with rocky tracks in the beginning of the special stage before returning to the Mauritanian sand that will take them up to the Tichit oasis. Once again, experience of the desert and of navigation will make the difference. The Mitsubishi drivers are favourites again... unless South-Africa's Giniel De Villiers is once again there to spoil their fun...

10:01 - START OF LIVE COVERAGE
Welcome to all. Having won the 7th special stage on Friday, Frenchman Cyril Despres was the first of the 367 teams still in the race to get to grips with today's special stage at 7h30 GMT as scheduled.

Bike:

10:04 - First competitors lost...
About 10 bikers, including the winner of the Dakar Enduro Challenge FFM, Frenchman Fabien Planet, but also Portuguese Helder Rodrigues, 8th in the overall rankings have lost their way on km 14 of today's special stage and made a loop of about 15km on their way to Chinguetti before getting back on the right track.

10:06 - Esteve in the lead on km 34
Nr 4, ISIDRE ESTEVE PUJOL - KM, SUPER PRODUCTION
As the first 60 bikes passed km 34, Spaniard Isidre Esteve was provisionally in the lead of today's special stage, 1'17 ahead of Frenchman Cyril Despres and 3'32 ahead of Brazilian Jean De Azevedo.

Car:

10:37 - It's a go for cars...
The winner of the 7th special stage, South-African pilot Giniel de Villiers opened the start of the car special stage at 8H59 GMT as scheduled. The first 13 cars are now in the 8th section against the clock.

Bike:

10:39 - Delaunay turns mechanical engineer...
Nr 137, ALAIN DELAUNAY - HONDA, SUPER PRODUCTION
French biker Alain Delaunay is now stopped at km 25 of today's special stage and doing repairs on his bike.

10:48 - Despres in the lead on km 111
Nr 2, CYRIL DESPRES - KTM, SUPER PRODUCTION
As the first 9 bikes have now passed km 111, Frenchman Cyril Despres is provisionally in the lead of today's special stage, 5'21 ahead of Norwegian Pal Anders Ullevalseter and 6'59 ahead of Frenchman David Casteu.

Car:

10:54 - Torn rear axle for Holowczyc
Nr 329, HOLOWCZYC/FORTIN - NISSAN, SUPER PRODUCTION
Poland's Krystztof Holowczyc and his Belgian copilot Jean-Marc Fortin are now stopped at km 14 of the special stage with a torn rear axle and waiting for their assistance.

Bike:

11:03 - Butuza stopped at km 53
Nr 79, MARCEL BUTUZA - KTM, SUPER PRODUCTION
After his engine shut off at km 53 of the day's special stage, Romanian biker Marcel Butuza fell -- fortunately without harm -- and is now trying to repair.

Car:

11:05 - De Villiers in the lead at km 34
Nr 301, DE VILLIERS/VON ZITZEWITZ - VOLKSWAGEN, SUPER PRODUCTION
As the first 7 cars passed km 34, South-African Giniel De Villiers was marked virtually in the lead of today's special stage, 52" ahead of Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah and 3'20 ahead of American driver Mark Miller.

11:10 - Clutch problem for Masuoka
Nr 306, MASUOKA/MAIMON - MITSUBISHI, SUPER PRODUCTION
Since his clutch broke on km 25 of today's special stage, Japanese driver Hiroshi Masuoka and his French copilot Pascal Maimon are now stopped and trying to repair.

Bike:

11:28 - Coma in the lead at CP1
Nr 1, CYRIL DESPRES - KTM, SUPER PRODUCTION
As the first 4 bikes passed CP1 (km 201), Spain's Marc Coma was virtual leader of the day's special stage, 2'06 ahead of his countryman Isidre Esteve and 3'41 ahead of Frenchman Cyril Despres.

Car:

12:04 - De Villiers in the lead at km 111
Nr 301, DE VILLIERS/VON ZITZEWITZ - VOLKSWAGEN, SUPER PRODUCTION
As the first 4 cars passed km 111, South-African Giniel De Villiers was marked virtually in the lead of the day's special stage, 4'24 ahead of Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah and 7'42 ahead of Frenchman Luc Alphand.

12:24 - Miller 2nd at km 111
Nr 305, MILLER/PITCHFORD - VOLKSWAGEN, SUPER PRODUCTION
As the first 9 cars passed km 111 of today's special stage, American driver Mark Miller has been provisionally clocked second of the special stage, 2'11 behind Giniel De Villiers, but 2'13 ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah now ranking 3rd.

Bike:

12:46 - Despres in the lead at km 246
Nr 2, CYRIL DESPRES - KTM, SUPER PRODUCTION
As the first 4 bikes passed km 246, Frenchman Cyril Despres was clocked as the virtual leader 7'38 ahead of Ullevalseter and 12'18 ahead of David Casteu. It is however to be noted that the Iritrack beacons of Spaniards Isidre Esteve and Marc Coma are not emitting for the time being.

Car:

12:51 - Broken suspension for Wallenwein
Nr 373, WALLENWEIN/SCHUENEMANN - HONDA, SUPER PRODUCTION
After breaking suspension on km 25, German team Sandro Wallenwein-Thomas Schuenemann is now waiting for its assistance squad.

Bike:

12:54 - Seel waiting for her assistance
Nr 98, ANNIE SEEL - KTM SUPER PRODUCTION
Victim of a fuel pump problem on km 25 of the day's special stage, Swedish female biker Annie Seel is now waiting for her assistance team.

Car

13:10 - De Villiers in the lead at km 169
Nr 301, DE VILLIERS/VON ZITZEWITZ - VOLKSWAGEN, SUPER PRODUCTION
As the first 8 cars passed km 169, South-African Giniel De Villiers was timed virtual leader of today's special stage, 5'01 ahead of Portuguese Carlos Sousa and 5'53 ahead of Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah.

Bike:

13:14 - Broken engine for Faria
Nr 37, RUBEN FARIA - YAMAHA, SUPER PRODUCTION
The winner of the first stage of this 29th Dakar, Portuguese biker Ruben Faria broke his engine in today's special stage and is now waiting for the broom truck at CP1 (km 201).

14:04 - Coma in the lead at CP 2
As the first 5 bikes passed at CP2 (km 357), Spaniard Marc Coma was the provisional leader of the day's special stage, 10'03 ahead of Frenchman Cyril Despres, who is nevertheless still opening up the road, and 22'10 ahead of Norwegian Pal Anders Ullevalseter.

14:26 - Engine break for Terranova
Nr 81, ORLANDO TERRANOVA - KTM, SUPER PRODUCTION
After his engine broke on km 277 of the day's special stage, Argentinean biker Orlando Terranova is now waiting for his assistance team or... the broom truck.

14:29 - Coma ranking 1st at CP3
Nr 1, MARC COMA - KTM, SUPER PRODUCTION
Leader in the overall rankings, Spaniard Marc Coma went through CP3 in the lead and is now opening the way. On the clocking side, the Spaniard was at CP3 10'05 ahead of Frenchman Cyril Despres and 23'29 in front of Norwegian Pal Anders Ullevalseter.

Truck:

14:45 - Mardeev in the lead at CP1
Nr 527, MARDEEV/BELYAEV/NIKOLAEV - KAMAZ
As the first 10 trucks passed CP1 (km 201), Russian Ilgizar Mardeev was provisionally in the lead of the special stage, 3'12 ahead of the leader in the overall rankings Dutchman Hans Stacey and 10'21 ahead of Brazilian Andre De Azevedo.

Bike:

14:57 - Attack has a price...
6th at the start this morning when kicking off for the day's special stage, Spaniard Marc Coma kept attacking to take the lead of the stage. A strategy that paid off as the leader in the overall rankings had a 10' lead on Despres at CP3, but a strategy that could also be costly for the last km of the special stage. Indeed, the title holder will have to drive through the last section of the stage, a very fast section, with two seriously damaged wheels.

Car:

14:59 - De Villiers first at km 306
Nr 301, DE VILLIERS/VON ZITZEWITZ - VOLKSWAGEN, SUPER PRODUCTION
As the first 5 cars passed km 306, South-African Giniel De Villiers was timed virtual leader of the day's special stage, 7'26 ahead of Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel and 8'22 in front of Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah.

15:27 - De Villiers still first at CP2
As the first 5 cars passed at CP2 (km 357), South-African Giniel De Villiers was timed virtual leader of the day's special stage, 6'48 ahead of Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel and 9'35 in front of Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah.

Car:

15:39 - Power steering trouble for Sainz
Nr 303, SAINZ/PERIN - VOLKSWAGEN, SUPER PRODUCTION
Timed at CP2 25'08 behind the provisional leader of the 8th special stage teammate Giniel de Villiers, Carlos Sainz said he was having problems with his power steering. However, the Spaniard still drives on.

Bike:

16:38 - Carillon on foot!...
Nr 110, PATRICE CARILLON - KTM, MARATHON
Because he ran out of gas close to CP3, which fortunately also is the second refueling point, Frenchman Patrice Carillon arrived on foot at CP. Once he got hold of a few liters of the precious fluid, the biker turned around to get his bike, drive back and refuel before returning to the normal course of his stage race.

Car:

16:39 - De Villiers first at CP3
As the first 7 cars passed CP3 (km 411), South-African Giniel De Villiers was timed as the virtual leader of the day's special stage, 6'48 ahead of Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel and 10'16 ahead of Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah.

Truck:

16:54 - Mardeev first at CP2
Nr 527, MARDEEV/BELYAEV/NIKOLAEV - KAMAZ
As the first 4 trucks passed CP2 (km 357), Russian Ilgizar Mardeev was the provisional leader of the special stage, 2'35 ahead of the leader in the overall rankings Hans Stacey and 14'20 ahead of another Dutchman Arjan Brouwer.

Bike:

17:23 - Coma provisional winner of stage 8
Nr 1, MARC COMA - KTM, SUPER PRODUCTION
As the first 4 bikes have now reached the end of this 8th special stage, Spaniard Marc Coma seems to be getting his 3rd stage victory in the 2007 edition, 10'02 in front of Frenchman Cyril Despres and 24'00 ahead of Norwegian Pal Anders Ullevalseter.

Car:

17:24 - It's over for Lavieille
Nr 317, LAVIEILLE/BORSOTTO - NISSAN, SUPER PRODUCTION
Due to an engine break-down that happened this morning on the way from Atar to the start of the 8th special stage, French team Christian Lavieille-Francois Borsotto had no choice but to withdraw and will be going back to France tonight already.

Bike:

18:06 - Thank you kindly...
Nr 121, KOENRAAD VERBRUGH - HONDA, SUPER PRODUCTION
Having run out of gas on km 390 of the special stage, Belgian biker Koenraad Verbrugh is now counting on the solidarity and generosity of his fellow competitors to be able to do the remaining 21km between where he is and CP3 where he will find the refueling point.

Car:

18:13 - De Villiers provisional winner of special stage 8
Nr 301, DE VILLIERS/VON ZITZEWITZ - VOLKSWAGEN, SUPER PRODUCTION
As the first 4 cars have now crossed the finishing line of this 8th special stage, South-African Giniel De Villiers seems to be winning its 3rd stage in the rally; it's also his second victory in a row, 6'35 ahead of Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel and 9'11 in front of title holder Luc Alphand.

Bike:

18:26 - Small fall for Ludivine...
Nr 42, LUDIVINE PUY - KTM, SUPER PRODUCTION
When she fell on km 455 of the special stage, French female biker Ludivine Puy dislocated a finger, but could quickly go back on and is now around km 497.

Truck:

19:45 - Stacey in the lead at CP3
Nr 501, STACEY/GOTLIB/DER KINDEREN - MAN
As the first 14 trucks have now passed CP3, Dutchman Hans Stacey, leader of the overall rankings, was provisionally timed in the lead of the 8th special stage, 24'49 ahead of Russian Russe Ilgizar Mardeev and 27'53 ahead of Dutchman Hans Bekx.

19:46 - Stacey probable winner of stage 8
Nr 501, STACEY/GOTLIB/DER KINDEREN - MAN
The leader in the overall rankings, Dutchman Hans Stacey is the first safely arrived at the end of this 8th special stage in 8h58'49. His closest follower, Russia's Ilgizar Mardeev, was at that point still some 40km from the finish of the special stage.

General:

19:46 - 61 vehicles successfully completed the special stage
At 18h30 GMT, 51 bikes, 9 cars and 1 truck had successfully completed the 8th special stage and were on their way or had already arrived at the bivouac in Tichit, end of stage 8.

-credit: www.dakar.com

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Mark Miller , Carlos Sainz , Luc Alphand , Hiroshi Masuoka , Stéphane Peterhansel , Giniel de Villiers , Pascal Maimon , Cyril Despres , François Borsotto , Christian Lavieille , Marc Coma , Nasser Al-Attiyah , Jean-Marc Fortin , Pal Anders Ullevalseter , David Casteu , Hans Stacey , Helder Rodrigues , Ruben Faria , Sandro Wallenwein , Ilgizar Mardeev , Arjan Brouwer , Hans Bekx , Orlando Terranova , Thomas Schuenemann , Marcel Butuza , Fabien Planet