Sandstorm brings chaos to Dakar Rally
The Dakar Rally was hit by chaos on Friday when the eighth stage of the event between Tichit and Tidjikja was cancelled because of a sandstorm.
The problems for the organisers were compounded by the fact that many of the drivers had failed to reach Tichit after failing to finish Thursday's seventh stage.
When the stage was cancelled, to be replaced by a liaison run, only 168 vehicles had made it to the finish line after Thursday's gruelling stage of 660 kilometre from Zouerat to Tichit.
The decision was taken, said organisers, as the best way of keeping competitors in the event. Vehicles continued to stagger into Tichit all day.
One of the high-profile victims on Friday was two-time winner Jean-Louis Schlesser who was forced to abandon his home-made buggy after damaging the rear suspension.
By 1800 GMT, 81 out 137 cars, 119 out of 186 motorcycles and 34 of 58 lorries had arrived leaving the stragglers with a tight deadline to make on Saturday if they are to stay in the race.