- Today, Team Audi Sport pushed hard to bring three cars home in the top five finishers for special stage 8.
- Mattias Ekström secures his first-ever stage win at the Dakar in the all-electric Audi RS Q e-tron.
- Henk Lategan and Giniel de Villiers finished in the top 10 for the stage for Toyota Gazoo Racing.
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Team Audi Sport's Mattias Ekström showed tenacity as he won today's special stage 8 at Dakar 2022 from Al-Dawadimi to Wadi ad Dawasir, his very first stage win at the prestigious rally raid event. Ekström is the second Audi driver to win a stage this year after fellow four-rings pilot Carlos Sainz.
The Swede finished a mere 49 seconds ahead of teammate Stéphane Peterhansel on the rally stage.
Sébastien Loeb finished third on the day's podium, three seconds ahead of Carlos Sainz in fourth place. More importantly, Loeb climbed back up the general rankings to come to within 37 minutes and 58 seconds of Nasser Al-Attiyah. Yazeed Al Rajhi lost time today and now trails Al-Attiyah by 53 minutes and 13 seconds.
Henk Lategan puts in another classy performance
Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa's Henk Lategan and his co-driver Brett Cummings managed to bring their Hilux T1+ bakkie home in fifth place in special stage 8 today ahead of Giniel de Villiers and his co-driver Dennis Murphy (9th place) in another Toyota Gazoo Racing Hilux T1+.
Lategan crossed the finish line in Wada ad Dawasir 3min20secs behind the stage winner, Ekström. De Villiers finished nine minutes after the stage winners.
No top 10 finish for Al-Attiyah this time
Al-Attiyah in the Toyota Gazoo Racing Hilux T1+ ended today's stage in 11th place, behind Yazeed Al Rajhi in the Overdrive Toyota rally raid vehicle. Overall, Al-Attiyah still maintains the lead for the class win at Dakar 2022 ahead of Sebastien Loeb (Team BRX) by 37min58secs.
At the end of today's Dakar proceedings, Giniel de Villers maintains the seventh position in the overall standing as the best-performing South African driver in the class so far despite being hit with penalties for knocking a rider last week in the desert.
Four stages remain in Dakar 2022, which draws to a close this Friday in Jeddah. You can follow Dakar live timings here for up to date information on the stage winners and losers and overall driver and team rankings.
1) M. EKSTROM (SWE) and E. BERGKVIST (SWE) for TEAM AUDI SPORT
2) S. PETERHANSEL (FRA) and E. BOULANGER (FRA) for TEAM AUDI SPORT
3) S. LOEB (FRA) and F. LURQUIN (BEL) for BAHRAIN RAID XTREME
4) C. SAINZ (ESP) and L. CRUZ (ESP) for TEAM AUDI SPORT
5) H. LATEGAN (ZAF) and B. CUMMINGS (ZAF) for TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
6) O. TERRANOVA (ARG) and D. OLIVERAS CARRERAS for BAHRAIN RAID XTREME
7) M. SERRADORI (FRA) and L. MINAUDIER (FRA) for SRT RACING
8) J. PRZYGONSKI (POL) and T. GOTTSCHALK (DEU) for X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM
9) G. DE VILLIERS (ZAF) and D. MURPHY (ZAF) for TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
10) Y. AL RAJHI (SAU) and M. ORR (GBR) for OVERDRIVE TOYOTA
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