Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah won the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia to claw back more than three minutes from leader Stephane Peterhansel in the car category.
The Toyota Hilux 4×4 driver, chasing his fourth Dakar title, dominated the 375km eighth stage from Sakaka to Neom with Frenchman Peterhansel third and his lead cut to four minutes and 50 seconds.
It was Al-Attiyah’s fifth stage win of this year’s event, including the prologue, and 40th of his career.
Peterhansel, a record 13 times winner of the Dakar with victories on two wheels and four, made some mistakes in his X-Raid Mini JCW buggy.
“We’re still in the battle. It’s really complicated to do a full Dakar without a mistake,” he said.
Spain’s defending champion Carlos Sainz, Peterhansel’s team mate, finished second and lies third overall, 38 minutes and 55 seconds off the lead.
In the motorcycle category, Chilean Jose Ignacio Cornejo on a Honda extended his overnight lead with his first stage win of the 2021 event.