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No bikes and quads for stage eight of the Dakar 2020 to pay respect to Paulo Goncalves. Due to this, lead cars and trucks found it hard to navigate as there were no tyre tracks through the stages.
Stage eight of the Dakar 2020 was a loop around Wadi Al-Dawasir in Saudi Arabia with a variety of tricky terrain, moutains, ridges, high dunes and some challenging navigation. Due to the sad and unfortunate demise of Paulo Goncalves, the organizers decided to cancel stage eight for bikes and quads, in order to pay a homage to the veteran rider. The 713km long stage was enduring and included a 474km long special stage.
Stage eight looked like a hot game of pursuit for the cars. Since there were no bikes and quads, the cars had no tracks to follow, making navigation all the more challenging. Two time F1 champion Fernando Alonso had a glorious day as he finished the stage in the second place despite having to stop for a tyre puncture. SRT Racing’s Mathieu Serradori surprised with a top of the table finish thanks to a consistent performance while X-Raid Mini JCW Team’s Orlando Terranova finished third.
The dunes in stage eight were some of the highest and toughest in the this year’s Dakar and some of the juggernauts had a hard time getting past the tricky patches. Czech team Big Shock Racing’s truck got stuck at one point during the stage with Martin Macik in the driver’s seat. The lost time made them drop to the sixth place in the overall rankings. Third placed (overall) Siarhei Viazovich also got stuck at a point but luckily for the Maz-AutoSport driver, help wasn’t far away. Andrey Karginov and Anton Shibalov, both piloting Kamaz-Master trucks have extended their overall lead by finishing stage eight in the first and the second positions while Czech driver Ales Loprais finished third.