After Saturday's rest day, Carlos Sainz was once again the man to beat as the 2009 Dakar Rally resumed with the 294km stage from Valparaiso to La Serena.

The Volkswagen man, who held a lead of less than ten seconds going into the test, dominated proceedings at the wheel of his Touareg as he led a VW 1-2-3 on the stage ahead of Dieter Depping and Mark Miller.

Importantly for Sainz, the fourth VW of Giniel de Villiers - which held second place going into the stage - was only fifth quickest and more than ten minutes behind so the Spaniard now leads the event by just under eleven minutes.

"As long as the rally isn't over, then nothing is certain," Sainz admitted. "Today was the first time we have driven on tracks. In fact, this stage was very much like a traditional rally stage. Up until now, those are the first real tracks that I've seen. But it was very nice, very slippery and sometimes quite tricky. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and I hope that we'll carry on being as successful as we have been today".

Nani Roma was able to split the VWs on the stage with the fourth quickest time and retains fourth place overall, while Guerlain Chicherit was sixth fastest. The BMW man remains well off the overall pace however following his errors earlier in the event.

The top six remains as it was going into the stage, with Robby Gordon fifth and Krzysztof Holowczyc sixth after both set top eight stage times on the eighth day.

Argentina-Chile Dakar 2009 - Positions on SS8:

1. Carlos Sainz Volkswagen Touareg 3hrs 47m 19s
2. Dieter Depping Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 04m 02s
3. Mark Miller Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 04m 12s
4. Nani Roma Mitsubishi Racing Lancer +0hrs 04m 15s
5. Giniel de Villiers Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 10m 48s
6. Guerlain Chicherit BMW X3 CC +0hrs 11m 32s

Argentina-Chile Dakar 2009 - Positions after SS8:

1. Carlos Sainz Volkswagen Touareg 27hrs 29m 59s
2. Giniel de Villiers Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 10m 57s
3. Mark Miller Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 18m 05s
4. Nani Roma Mitsubishi Racing Lancer +0hrs 33m 31s
5. Robby Gordon Hummer H3 +1hrs 32m 01s
6. Krzysztof Holowczyc Nissan Navara +2hrs 57m 05s


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