The poor weather conditions continued for Stage 8 of the 2017 Dakar yesterday, with the organisers making the decision to shorten another section of the route. The first change to the road book was made early in the day with the shortening of the first part of the special by 73km to restart at the border with Argentina. Additional changes were made later in the day when it became clear that flooding on the road to Salta made it impossible for any vehicles to reach the planned end point. Race organisers have now confirmed that today’s Stage 9, including the Super Belen, will be cancelled – 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.
Yesterday’s difficult conditions meant that there was not much change in positions with most of the MINI family competitors maintaining their overall position. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) and Michel Perin (FRA) once again secured a 4th place stage finish in the #303 MINI John Cooper Works Rally car to remain in 5th place in the overall standings.
Just two places behind them in the stage was the #308 MINI John Cooper Works Rally car of Orlando Terranova (ARG) and Andreas Schulz (GER). The pairing remained on form with another consistent performance that saw them maintain 7th position overall.
Completing the top ten in yesterday’s stage finish was fellow MINI John Cooper Works Rally driver Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) and co-driver Timo Gottschalk (DEU). Their official overall position is still subject an appeal.
Jakub Przygonski (POL) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) were in the first MINI ALL4 Racing car (#316) to complete the stage in 14th. They also held on to their place in the overall standings in 8th.
The remaining MINI ALL4 Racing pairings also completed Stage 8 with Mohamed Abu Issa (QAT) and Xavier Panseri (FRA) finishing in 17th, one place ahead of Boris Garafulic (ARG) and co-driver Filipe Palmeiro (POR) in the #314 MINI ALL4 Racing car. Sylvio de Barros (BR) and Rafael Capoani (BR) finished the stage in 20th position, two places in front of Stephan Schott (GER) and Paulo Fiuza (POR) in 22nd.