Sébastien Loeb started the day three minutes behind Stephane Peterhansel but caught and passed his Peugeot teammate on the way to his third stage win of the 2017 Dakar Rally. Loeb finished a shortened stage 8, from Uyuni to Salta, 3’35″ahead of the 12-time Dakar winner.

Sébastien Loeb claimed his third stage win of Rally Dakar 2017

Image by Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool

Stage 4 winner, Cyril Despres, made it an all-Peugeot stage podium when he came home in third less than two minutes behind Peterhansel. Mikko Hirvonen (MINI) started the day in fourth place on the road and remained there throughout the entire stage, passing each way point in fourth and ending the stage there,  just over three minutes behind Despres.

South African Geniel de Villiers was the first of the Toyotas in fifth place while Nani Roma had to settle for seventh after dropping as low as 11th in the early part of the stage. Rookie Conrad Rautenbach, with the experienced Rob Howie alongside him, continued to impress finishing the stage in ninth place.

Loeb’s win moves him to the top of the overall rankings leading a Peugeot lockout of the top three. Peterhansel drops to second with Despres moving back ahead of Roma to re-take third place. Hirvonen and de Villiers remain fifth and sixth while Rautenbach moves up one more spot to thirteenth.

Joan Barreda won stage eight on his Honda

Image by Honda Racing Corporation

On two wheels, Joan Barreda has won another Dakar stage for Honda today, taking over three minutes out of the KTM pairing of Matthias Walkner and Sam Sunderland. Barreda’s Monster Energy Honda teammates, Michael Metge and Paulo Goncalves finished either side of Pedrero Garcia (Sherco) in fourth and sixth.

Botswana’s Vince Crosbie (KTM) rode to 55th today while Joey Evans (KTM) finished the stage in 96th.

Sunderland still leads the overall standings. He has an almost 21 minute lead over Chilean Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) with Yamaha’s Adrien van Beveren in third. Matthias Walkner (KTM) and Gererd Farres Guell (KTM) complete the top five.

Crosbie is in 41st place while Evans is just inside the top 100 in 99th.

Ignacio Casale took his first stage win of Rally Dakar 2017 on stage 8

Image by Flavien Duhamel / Red Bull Content Pool

The big story in the quad race today was the withdrawal of Simon Viste. The Frenchman was not able to finish the first part of the stage after his Raptor 700 stopped and he was forced out of the rally while lying in second place in the overall standings on his first Dakar.

Viste may have experienced problems but Ignacio Casale (Yamaha) certainly didn’t, taking his first stage win of the 2017 Dakar. He finished 5’39” ahead of Sergey Karyakin (Yamaha) with Axel Dutrie (Yamaha) in third a further 1’37” back.

In the overall standings Karyakin leads Dutrie and Casale. The three of them are separated by just over ten minutes and the winner will almost certainly come from their ranks as the fourth placed rider, Daniel Mazzucco (Can-Am), is about and hour and 50 minutes behind Casale.

Martin van den Brink in his Renault truck

Image by DPPI

Martin van den Brink grabbed his second truck win of the 2017 edition, but it was a narrow victory. He brought his Renault home just 17 seconds ahead of Federico Villagra (Iveco). Eduard Nikolaev (KAMAZ) finished third, 42 seconds behind the winner.

Dmitry Sotnikov (KAMAZ), who finished today’s stage in fourth place, moves to the top of the overall rankings followed by Nikolaev and 2016 winner Gerard de Rooy (Iveco).

After a mudslide in the village of Volcan, which has made it very difficult for the competitors to reach the bivouac in Salta, the organizers have decided to cancel stage 9 of the 2017 Dakar. The race will resume on Thursday in Chilecito.