The South African Giniel De Villiers (Toyota) took over the victory in the car category on the ninth stage of the Dakar, starting and ending in Wadi Ad Dawasir, surpassing his compatriot and teammate by just nine seconds Henk Lategan.
The Spanish Carlos Sainz finished in sixth position and despite being a short timed (special) stage -286 kilometers- the general leader, the Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota) completed the podium covered by the cars of the Japanese brand and increased by 1’7 ” its advantage in the general over the French Sebastien Loeb (Bahrain Raid Xtreme).
A stage in which a De Villiers won, the 18th victory of his career on the Dakar, which leaves behind the controversy that enveloped his name in the first days of competition in which collided with two motorcycle riders and the second, the Moroccan Mohamed Said Aoulad Ali, did not lend his help.
This caused him a five-hour penalty which, however, was annulled days later. After first hearing his statement and then checking the ‘Sentinel’ system of his car, the commissioners determined a malfunction in it, since the intensity of the alarm signal that it emits can be described as “sufficient but not optimal“.
Stewards cannot clearly confirm if the signal received by the equipment was really sufficient to activate the alarm in the car, for which they revoked the penalty. Decision that allowed him to return fully to the fight to get a good position in the general car category; and after the victory of this Tuesday occupies the fifth place.
A classification of which Al-Attiyah comes out as a leader again. After losing seven minutes with Loeb, the Qatari recovered 1’7 ‘and leads him by 39’5’ ‘, which makes him cherish his fourth Dakar (winner in 2011, 2015 and 2019) with only three days of competition remaining.
The Spanish Carlos Sainz (Audi) had a bad start, in which he lost 1’42 ” in the first 40 kilometers of a special that was short -287km- and finished in sixth position at 2’48 ” behind De Villiers.
After occupying three of the first four positions in the eighth stage, the German brand and its innovative hybrid vehicle put its participants in the top nine, so it seems that have fixed the problems in the shock absorbers that weighed them down during the first week of competition.