“Today it was, again, a stage with full attack,” said Peterhansel.
“We tried to push at full attack from the beginning, but never opening the gas too much.”
Local favourite Yasir Seaidan (Race) came in third while overall race leader Sainz finished fifth, 6min 31 sec off the pace.
The veteran Spaniard, in his Mini, was off the leading duo’s pace all stage, and sees his lead cut to just 24 sec over Toyota’s Al-Attiyah.
Peterhansel remains in third place in the general classification, 6:38 off the pace.
Al-Attiyah said he was content with a good day’s racing.
“We tried to do our best and today I think we did a really good stage,” said the driver who has represented Qatar in six Olympic Games, winning bronze in the men’s skeet event in London in 2012.
“I’m quite happy to close the gap with Carlos.
“I think tomorrow and after tomorrow will be very, very difficult for everybody. It’s good tomorrow that Stephane is opening on marathon day. We’ll see now about Carlos, but, okay, it looks like the three cars are very close together. For all three of us, it is possible that one can win the Dakar.”
Peterhansel added: “We’ll try to keep the pressure on the leader.”
In the motorbike category, resuming after stage eight was cancelled following the death of Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves, Pablo Quintanilla notched up his first win.
The Chilean, on a Husqvarna, won the special with a lead of almost two minutes over Australia’s defending champion Toby Price.
As a result, he continues to put pressure on general standings leader Ricky Brabec, the American Honda rider nevertheless managing to limit the damage (+20:53) by finishing less than four minutes behind the day’s winner in fourth spot.
Wednesday’s stage 10 from Haradh to Shubaytah takes competitors into the infamous ‘Rub al-Khali’ or ‘Empty Quarter’, a huge sand desert that spreads from host country Saudi Arabia into neighbouring Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Vast off-road expanses feature, with the last 30 kilometres of the stage going right through the dunes in what promises to be a tough challenge.
Anton De Pasquale (#9 Penrite Racing ZB Commodore) was the fastest Holden in third, 0.1371s down on Davison, with Shane van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull Holden ZB Commodore) 0.3580s off the #23.
The 2016 series champion banked a day-high 120 laps of the Tailem Bend circuit.
Chaz Mostert’s #25 WAU ZB Commodore and series champion Scott McLaughlin’s #17 Shell V-Power Racing Mustang were the only other entries to log triple-figure lap counts with 103 and 109 laps respectively.
Nick Percat (#8 BJR ZB Commodore) and Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Mustang) were fifth and sixth ahead of Mostert and McLaughlin, with Mark Winterbottom (#18 IRIWN ZB Commodore) and Todd Hazelwood (#14 BJR ZB Commodore) rounding out the top 10.
Notably, Jamie Whincup (13th) and Fabian Coulthard (20th) banked 97 and 92 laps respectively, with Team Sydney duo James Courtney and Chris Pither in 22nd and 23rd.
Walkinshaw Andretti United recruit, 2019 Super2 champion Bryce Fullwood, was last of the 24 runners – but still banked 91 valuable laps in the #2.
The 2020 season kicks off with Practice 1 of the Superloop Adelaide 500 on Thursday afternoon.
In December, Holden confirmed it would retire the iconic Commodore nameplate, which Fox Sports expert commentator Skaife – a five-time series champion and six-time Bathurst 1000 winner – took to 80 race wins.
One of the brand’s most loyal servants and most recognisable ambassadors, Skaife reminisced on Holden’s special place in Australian history.
“When I think of Holden, I have fond memories, so it was a very, very sad day,” Skaife told foxsports.com.au.
“The major thing which comes to mind immediately is how ingrained Holden has been in the Australian psyche.
“It’s been a big part of our DNA, it’s a heartland brand. It’s a brand I never envisaged not being around.
“Through the course of history, it’s symbolised and embodied so many of the things we love not only about the car industry, but the way Australians go about building, designing, proving through car racing, whatever it might be, what has evolved into a tremendous association with Holden and the way Australians have loved their cars.
“Think about the Commodore. For 15 years, it was the number one nameplate in Australia, sold almost 100,000 cars a year.”
“To me, this is an example of a brand which has immersed itself in this country,” he continued.
“Whether you’re a city person or a country person, wealthy or not, whatever it looks like for you, Holden have been part of your journey somewhere.
“Your grandfather built one, or your dad had one, or your mum had one, or your sister had one as her first car. There’s a Holden story in nearly every family across this nation.
“When you think about what Holden meant to us, not just through its power but through how many people were employed, the hundreds of thousands of people who have been part of the Holden story … think about all the young tradespeople and apprentices who have applied their trade through Holden.
For Skaife, though, Holden’s legacy was amplified by its rivalry with Ford, which overflowed from the racetrack to the showroom.
Holden’s 559 race victories in Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars history are a standout record, with Skaife contributing with 80 of his own.
Skaife’s final races were in Commodores – full-time aboard a Holden Racing Team VE at Oran Park in 2008, and a Triple Eight (TeamVodafone) VE at Bathurst – and few had more pulling power for the brand’s representation in the Australian motor racing.
It was indeed Skaife would helped return Holden to the very top in the sport once he claimed the 1994 ATCC crown, which was Holden’s first in 14 years following Peter Brock’s 1980 triumph in a VB Commodore.
Commodores won six of the next eight drivers’ titles, of which Skaife won three, while Holden enjoyed a seven-year stranglehold over Mount Panorama from 1999 to 2005 – Skaife winning three times, in 2001, 2002 and 2005.
“Through the course of history, the ‘win on Sunday, sell on Monday’ regimen worked. We raced those cars and had great success,” he said.
“What it meant to race fans is another story completely. Holden, through Peter Brock and Toranas and Commodores, it’s been a very powerful story.
“Brock won the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1980, and Holden didn’t win another championship until I was lucky enough to in 1994.
“I remember the reaction, 14 years on from 1980, there was this incredible interest and loyalty from Holden racing fans who hadn’t been winning for so long.
“The Holden Racing Team at its best was a dominant force, and for me, that will be one of the great memories regarding Holden’s motorsport participation in this country.”
At the official pre-season test on Tuesday, Triple Eight boss Roland Dane admitted he was “surprised” about the timing of the announcement, but admitted fans may be gravitating away from pure brand support.
Regardless, Holden’s rivalry with Ford brought out the best in the Blue Oval as it was one of many to pay tribute to a fallen monolith – and Skaife, who kept Ford at bay for so many years in his HRT heyday, acknowledged the importance of the rivalry for Supercars fans and Aussie sport fans in general.
“It’s like if you’re an AFL team, it’s no use kicking the ball to yourself,” Skaife said.
“You’ve got to have competition. You’ve got to have rivalry. When it comes to Australia cultural enthusiasts in this country, nothing gets better than Ford versus Holden.
“Ford versus Holden, Labor versus Liberal, Collingwood versus Carlton, NSW versus Queensland. That’s what our ethos has been.
“It’s a true tribute from people from Ford to be reminiscing and be saddened by today’s news because it means a lot to a lot of people, and the rivalry has been the benchmark in motorsport in this part of the world.”
Denny Hamlin won his second straight Daytona 500 and third overall, beating Ryan Blaney in an overtime photo finish marred by a terrifying crash that sent Ryan Newman to hospital.
Newman had surged into the lead on the final lap when Blaney’s bumper caught the back of his Ford and sent Newman hard right into the wall.
His car flipped, rolled, was hit on the driver’s side by another car, and finally skidded across the finish line engulfed in flames.
It took several minutes for his car to be rolled back onto its wheels. He was placed in a waiting ambulance and taken directly to a hospital. Drivers were stricken with concern, including a rattled Corey LaJoie, the driver who hit Newman’s car as it was flipping.
Here is the final lap of the Daytona 500 in which Ryan Newman’s car was flipped at the line.