The eighth stage of the 2017 Dakar, from Uyuni, Bolivia to Salta, Argentina, didn’t cause a lot of attention with its race action but due to the landslide caused by the torrential rain about 160 kilometres short of Salta. The landslide blocked the road the racing cars and service vehicles were supposed to use to get to the bivouac. At the beginning it wasn’t clear if it was possible for any vehicle to make it to Salta at all but in the meantime, the organisers seem to have found a solution. Furthermore, stage nine was cancelled.
In these circumstances, the result of the stage didn’t represent the No 1 headline. Mikko Hirvonen FIN / Michel Périn (FRA) set the fourth fastest time, with their MINI John Cooper Works Rally. The pairing holds fifth place in the overall standings and succeeded in slightly closing the gap to Nani Roma in fourth position. Their team-mates, Orlando Terranova (ARG) / Andreas Schulz (GER) and Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) / Timo Gottschalk (GER) finished sixth and eighth respectively, today.
The MINI ALL4 Racing pairing Kuba Przygonski (POL) / Tom Colsoul (BEL) crossed the finish line in 14th position. Mohamed Abu Issa (QAT) / Xavier Panseri (FRA) and Boris Garafulic (CHI) / Filipe Palmeiro (POR) came 17th and 18th respectively. The other two MINI ALL4 Racing crews, Sylvio de Barros / Rafael Capoani (both BRA) and Stephan Schott (GER) / Paulo Fiúza (POR) set the 20th and the 22nd-fastest times.
The organiser cancelled tomorrow’s ninth stage, from Salta to Chilecito - the decision means that 42% (1,400 km) of so far planned special stages (3.300 km) have been called off due to poor weather. The majority of the cars will be able to make it to Salta today via an alternative route. This road is 200 kilometres longer than the original route and can’t be used by bigger vehicles. So, the Dakar fraternity is supposed to be reunited in Chilecito.

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