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Dakar Stage 8 Highlights: Serradori wins, Alonso second

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Monday’s stage of the Dakar Rally saw amateur driver Mathieu Serradori collect his first career victory, while fan-favorite Fernando Alonso finished second.

Only three of the five classes competed in the eighth stage of the event, as the motorbike and quad classes took the day off following the crash in Sunday’s stage 7 that lead to the death of motorbike rider Paulo Gonçalves. Both classes will return to action on Tuesday.

Here are some of Monday’s highlights:

In the cars class, Mathieu Serradori won his first stage, edging Fernando Alonso by 4:04.

Alonso’s second-place finish was his best yet in his rookie Dakar, and the two-time Formula One champion is now ranked 13th overall with four stages remaining.

Orlando Terranova finished the stage third-fastest, 6:19 behind, while Nasser Al-Attiyah finished 11th and narrowed his deficit to overall leader Carlos Sainz to just under seven minutes.

Sainz finished 15th overall, 19:15 behind Serradori.

Overall: Carlos Sainz holds an advantage of 6:40 over Nasser Al-Attiyah.

In side by sides, Mitch Guthrie set the quickest time in the stage, having rejoined the race under the ‘Dakar Experience’ category. However, Guthrie was assessed a penalty, giving the victory to Reinaldo Varela.

Varela finished 0:22 ahead of Francisco Lopez Contardo, while Austin Jones finished third, 7:21 back.

Overall: Casey Currie holds an advantage of 15:40 over Francisco Lopez Contardo.

In trucks, Andrey Karginov continued to race toward his second career Dakar victory by clinching his third consecutive stage win.

Karginov defeated teammate Anton Shibalov by 5:54, and now leads him by nearly a half an hour in the overall standings.

Ales Loprais finished third, 9:06 behind.

Overall: Andrey Karginov holds an advantage of 27:06 over Anton Shibalov.

Stage Wins:

Cars: [3] Carlos Sainz (Stage 3, 5, and 7), [2] Stephane Peterhansel (Stage 4 and 6), [1] Vaidotas Zala (Stage 1), [1] Giniel De Villiers (Stage 2) and [1] Mathieu Serradori (Stage 8)

Bikes: [2] Toby Price (Stage 1 and 5), [2] Ricky Brabec (Stage 3 and 6), [1] Ross Branch (Stage 2), [1] Jose Ingacio Cornejo (Stage 4) and [1] Kevin Benavides (Stage 7)

Side-by-sides: [2] Gerard Farres Guell (Stage 3 and 6), [1]  Aron Domzala (Stage 1), [1] Francisco Lopez Contardo (Stage 2), [1] Mitch Guthrie (Stage 4),  [1] Cyril Despres (Stage 5), [1] Blade Hildebrand (Stage 7) and [1] Reinaldo Varela (Stage 8)

Quads: [3] Ignacio Casale (Stage 1, 2, and 4), [2] Simon Viste (Stage 6 and 7), [1] Giovanni Enrico (Stage 3) and [1] Romain Dutu (Stage 5)

Trucks: [4] Andrey Karginov (Stage 3, 6, 7 and 8), [2] Anton Shibalov (Stage 1 and 4), [1] Siarhei Viazovich (Stage 2) and [1] Dmitry Sotnikov (Stage 5)

Highlights of Stage 8 will air on NBCSN tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET.  The rally runs through Friday.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.