Although Paulo Goncalves (bikes) and Sebastien Loeb (cars) took wins in the penultimate stage of the 2017 Dakar Rally, San Juan to Rio Cuarto, it’s Sam Sunderland (bikes) and Stephane Peterhansel (cars) who are poised to take the overall victory in this year’s Dakar in those two classes.
Coverage from today’s stage will air on Saturday, January 14 at 6:30 p.m. ET, with final stage coverage on Sunday, January 15 at midnight ET.
Quick recaps from today are below.
In cars, Loeb won once more, his fifth stage win of this year’s Dakar. But the Frenchman lies more than five minutes behind Peugeot teammate Peterhansel, with Peterhansel one day away from his 13th Dakar victory on Friday, January 13.
Loeb edged Peterhansel today by just 18 seconds, and trails Peterhansel by more than five minutes ahead of the final stage.
Bikes saw Goncalves back on top, with Sunderland (KTM) continuing his methodical run with his lead consolidated at more than 30 minutes overall over Matthias Walkner. Joan Barreda and Adrien Van Beveren were second and third today.
Sergey Karyakin won quads and trucks will be added in later.
Stage nine (cancelled due to weather) and (VIDEO)
Stage eight (VIDEOS)
Rest day VIDEOS
Stage six (cancelled due to weather)
Stage five (shortened due to weather)
Stage four and (VIDEOS)
Stage three and (VIDEOS)
Stage two and (VIDEOS)
Stage one and (VIDEOS)
Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”