Nani Roma remains in the hunt for a podium finish on this year's Dakar Rally as he takes on the sole responsibility for Mitsubishi's depleted effort.

With Hiroshi Masuoka, Luc Alphand and Stephane Peterhansel having retired from the event, Roma is the only remaining Mitsubishi driver left on an event that has seen the new Racing Lancer struggle to match their Volkswagen Touareg rivals.

Nonetheless, Roma remains in contention, just over 30mins adrift from leader Carlos Sainz, after setting the fourth best time on stage eight of the event.

With Mitsubishi targeting a podium now, rather than an eighth win, Roma was pleased with his effort and is confident the second week could still hold some surprises.

"It was a nice stage. Some corners are tight and it is certainly interesting with a big car. I was lucky in some parts, but the nail in the tire was really bad luck. Anyway, the stage was okay for us. Everyone in our team is really motivated to catch the Volkswagens.

"For me, I always drive for everyone in the team and I want to keep pushing at the same speed for everyone. There is still a long way to Buenos Aires and anything is possible."

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