Following the short superspecial stage yesterday, the two Peugeot 3008DKRs of Sebastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz were able to stretch their legs on the first proper stage of the event and brought the first victory for Peugeot on the Rallye du Maroc, courtesy of Loeb / Elena.
• Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena take the for Peugeot after the first full day having set the fastest time on the stage, nearly 14 minutes faster than anybody else. The duo started down the order, 11th on the road, and completed a clean run at a very high pace and passed all the competitors ahead of him.
• Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz returned to Cross-Country action for the first time since the Dakar in January and had finished the leg in seventh. Having to open the road today, they took no risks and are well-placed to continue their progress tomorrow.
• Despite the tough conditions and high temperatures, on what happened to be the longest day of the entire Rallye du Maroc, both Peugeot 3008DKR proved to be reliable on the open and rocky desert tracks, and reached Erfoud with no problems.
DATAS OF THE STAGE
Average temperature: 45°C
Maximum speed: 196.4kph
Type of terrain: open and rocky desert tracks
NUMBER OF THE DAY: 007 Erfoud, where the rally stops overnight, was one of the locations used in the latest James Bond film, Spectre. Daniel Craig, who plays 007, was on location shooting the film just over two years ago – staying just down the road from Sébastien Loeb, who was having his first taste of the 2008DKR.
QUOTES / UNQUOTE
Bruno FAMIN Peugeot Sport Director Team Manager Peugeot Total
“It’s good to get the longest stage of the rally done. We are happy with today’s results, both drivers did a good job. But there are still many unknowns ahead of us so we stay focused. Sébastien achieved a good performance! He gets the lead with a nice gap to the next competitor, which bodes well for tomorrow, as he will be opening the road. Carlos completed the stage without any major problems, and was able to keep a good pace despite having to open the road.”
Sébastien LOEB Team Peugeot Total driver "Fastest on the stage, first overall
“It was such a good day: we were able to stay concentrated and pass several cars to end the day in the lead. We did not do any mistakes, neither in navigation, nor in driving. It’s nice to get a good gap already in the overall standings, but there is, of course, still a long way to go with more challenges ahead of us.”
Carlos SAINZ Team Peugeot Total driver 7th on the stage, 6th overall“It was a tough day. The result is OK given that we had two punctures and stopped two times to change the wheel. The navigation was tricky and we got lost for about five minutes, two times. Tomorrow is another day and we will stay focus. I am happy to be back behind the wheel!”
The competitors will have an early start on Saturday and get straight into the action: compared to 354.45 kilometres of stage, there is just 24 kilometres of road section tomorrow. The route takes drivers into the heart of the Sahara from Erfoud to Ergchebi, with some complex sand dunes to challenge both drivers and navigators.
DID YOU KNOW ?
The PSA Group, Peugeot’s parent company, is opening a factory in Morocco: underlining once more the significance of the country to the French manufacturer. Work on the Kenitra plant started in June this year and it is expected to open in 2019, producing around 90,000 vehicles in its first year and creating around 3500 local jobs.