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 seven (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)

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.