Stage 8 Recap

7. Januar 2006

Mark Miller and Dirk von Zitzewitz finished 2nd on stage 8 alongside with Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret today putting Mitsubishi into the lead.

Top 5 finishers:
1 315 MAGNALDI (FRA) 15:53:56 05:00:56
2 309 MILLER (USA) 16:04:48 05:07:48
2 300 PETERHANSEL (FRA) 15:42:48 05:07:48
4 304 ROMA (ESP) 15:53:51 05:08:51
5 302 ALPHAND (FRA) 15:48:32 05:11:32

We talked to Dirk after the stage on the phone. He seemed very relaxed. “…I would say no major problems today for us…” at km22 they met Carlos and Andy as they where stuck in the dunes. Mark and Dirk tried unsuccessfully to pull them out of the soft sand. Prior to km22 they have passed 3 cars and then later before km200 3 more. They also passed Jutta and Fabrizia who sat stuck in the soft dunes. At km250 they passed Giniel and Tina as they just finished using their metal sand ramps. Mark and Dirk didn’t take any chances today and the navigation worked out well. Its very unfortunate that they lost so much time yesterday caused by their accident. Still they are doing well. The podium has more then just one spot.

Stage 9 on Monday will be a hard one that will cost lots of teams minutes and hours.

Sunday is a break day without racing. It’s well deserved after a hard long week of racing.

Dirk made it also clear that his priority is the Volkswagen Team. Volkswagen would like to and can very possibly win. The most promising candidates within Volkswagen is Giniel de Villier and Tina Thörner. They are 00:26:16 behind the leader.

What happened to Robby Gordon?
Chris Overstreet is Darren’s girlfriend and she stays in contact with the team via sat phone calls. On race-dezert.com she posted “Darren and Robby slept in the desert all night as the chase truck couldn’t find them until daylight. They fixed the problem and headed to the start. The start time had been extended until 1pm and they missed that by 1 hour. They are sitting at the start and the officials will not let them go. As of right now it looks like the race is over for them.”
“Darren and I just hung up. They are in Atar waiting for two additional support cars. They will spend the night there and then head to Nouakchott tomorrow which is about a 5 hour drive. From there they plan to head straight to Dakar. They are still fighting to stay in the race, but the chances are incredibly slim.”
“Yes, I just hung up. Darren said that it was REALLY cold and they had to keep each other warm – Ha Ha : )
At least he had a sense of humor”

on the official ASO website dakar.com they are now listed as withdraw.

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