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Dakar 2017: Loeb, Barreda fight back with wins on Day 8

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Sebastien Loeb and Joan Barreda have taken car and bike wins on the eighth day of competition in the 2017 Dakar Rally, with Loeb then moving into the lead in cars after his third stage win this year.

The wins are particularly important with stage nine being canceled (more on that to come in a separate post). The next round of coverage for the 2017 Dakar Rally is on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Quick recaps of the day are below.

The Uyuni to Salta stage was another modified layout owing to the poor weather that’s affected several stages of the rally. Rally organizers posted the update at the start of the day.

The trio of Peugeot competitors continued their battle both in the stage and the overall rankings in cars. Loeb surged ahead with his third stage win of the rally, and the win has now moved him past Stephane Peterhansel for the overall lead in cars with now just thee stages remaining in the rally.

Just one minute and 38 seconds separates the two, with Cyril Despres now 17-plus minutes back in third.

Barreda, on his Honda, dominated the bikes stage over Matthias Walkner and Sam Sunderland, with KTM rider Sunderland solidifying his lead on the bikes overall standings thanks to another day of damage limitations in third.

Barreda’s quite a ways back (more than an hour back) in ninth in bikes but will keep pushing. Stage 7 winner, American Ricky Brabec, was 12th on the stage and is now 12th overall in the rally.

Ignacio Casale (Quads) and Martin Van Den Brink (Trucks) won their stages in these classes.

STAGE RECAPS

Stage sevenΒ (rest day VIDEOS)
Stage six (cancelled due to weather)
Stage five (shortened due to weather)
Stage four and (VIDEOS)
Stage threeΒ and (VIDEOS)
Stage twoΒ and (VIDEOS)
Stage one and (VIDEOS)

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High:Β Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low:Β A poor opening two races in Australia and China.