LEAD HALTED: Peugeot driver Sebastien Loeb, left, and co-driver Daniel Elena, works on their car after a crash, during Stage 8 of the 2016 Dakar Rally. Image: AP / Andre Lavadinho
Belen, Argentina - Defending champion Nasser al-Attiyah won the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally on Monday (January 12) as disaster struck debutant Sebastien Loeb's impressive start to the gruelling event.
Al-Attiyah, in a first stage win for Mini against the might of Peugeot who had won the previous six, finished 12 seconds ahead of Carlos Sainz and 31sec in front of new leader Stephane Peterhansel, both representing the French car manufacturer.
Lost the lead
Nine-times world champion Loeb, after three stage wins, lost his lead of the overall standings as he ground to a standstill after taking a wrong turn and rolling less than 30km from the end of the 393km timed special of the 766km run between Salta and Belen.
Despite massive damage to the car, Loeb and co-pilot Daniel Elena managed to limp home to now stand eighth in the overall standings, more than one hour off the pace.
Watch: Aftermath of Sebastien Loeb's crash on Stage 8
KTM rider Toby Price won the motorcycle section, the Australian landing a sledgehammer blow in distancing Paulo Goncalves (Honda), the overnight leader, by 5min17.
As a result, Price took command of the overall standings with a lead of 2min05 over the Honda rider from Portugal.
Tuesday's ninth stage is around Belen.
More pics of Loeb's crash on Stage 8:
Overall standings in car catergory at Stage 8: