Extreme won the first stage victory of the Dakar Rally
Matthias Ekström (Sweden) won a second stage victory for Audi in the Dakar Rally Marathon, and a series of problems with car leader Nasser Al-Atiyah (Qatar, Toyota Gazoo) allowed Sebastian Loeb (France, Bahrain Raid) to close the gap. him.
Two-time German Touring Car Championship (DTM) champion Ekström and his teammate Stefan Peterhanzel (France) swapped first place for most of the 395-kilometer stretch between Al-Dawadimi and Wadi Ad-Dawasir. a triple victory for Audi.
Fourth in today's stage was another of the pilots of the German manufacturer - Carlos Sainz (Spain).
Peterhanzel led after halving the eighth stage, but never reached the 49th stage victory for motorists. Ekström lost three minutes between the eighth and ninth controls, but the 43-year-old Swede ran the last 73 kilometers and won a stage in his second Dakar Rally.
Extreme finished with 49 seconds ahead of Peterhanzel and so Audi recorded its first double victory in the era of electric cars. The day was not without problems for Loeb, who burst a tire and finished 3:08 minutes behind Ekström in third place.
However, the Frenchman received a gift from Al-Atiya, who also burst a tire and had a mechanical problem. This left the Cathars in 11th place and he is now leading with only 37:58 minutes against Loeb in the battle for the car title.
Sam Sunderland (UK, GasGas) returned to the lead in motorcycles after winning the eighth stage 2:53 minutes ahead of Pablo Quintania (Chile, Monster Energy Honda). The Briton finished with 4:11 minutes ahead of Matthias Valkner (Austria, Red Bull KTM) and overtook him with 3:45 at the top.