LOEB STILL LEADS RALLYE DU MAROC AFTER A PARTICULARLY CONFUSING STAGE 208/10/2017 - 01:45

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The Peugeot 3008DKR was on top again on the second leg of the Rallye du Maroc. Sébastien Loeb continues to lead the overall standings, while Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz set the fastest time on the stage, which was neutralised after CP1.

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Organisers stopped the cars after the first checkpoint (at kilometre 130), due to the extreme conditions ahead: one of the riverbeds that the cars were due to pass through was completely flooded. The cars were gathered into a group and moved as a convoy to the bivouac via an open road.

 

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• Setting off first on the road with some tricky navigation to overcome, Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena clocked in third at CP1. Despite a very confusing stage and organisation, and the final decision of the race direction to calculate the classification from WP31 (kilometre 175), the Team Peugeot Total duo remains in the lead by five minutes.

 

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Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz set the fastest time at CP1, 54 seconds ahead of the next-quickest crew. They proved to be very confident aboard their Peugeot 3008DKR, and that they still have the speed to score stage victories. Unfortunately, later in the evening, they received a major penalty of 50 hours in the provisional rankings because of a confusing communication with the race direction.

 

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DATAS OF THE STAGE

Average temperature: 31°C

Maximum speed: 194kph

Type of terrain: flooded and muddy off-piste tracks

 

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QUOTES / UNQUOTE

Sébastien LOEB, Team Peugeot Total driver, 7th on the stage, 1st overall

“It was really tough to open the road because some parts of the road book were hard to follow. It wasn’t easy at all, because of the flooded terrain. The route was not so well-marked due to the rain, so you couldn’t see the tracks. It was a struggle to get through but under the circumstances I think we did quite well. It was a logical decision to stop the stage as there was nowhere else to go: we stopped and then everyone eventually joined us. Obviously we would have preferred to drive but you can’t drive in places where it’s impossible to go. In the end we keep our lead, so that’s good at least. We are very motivated to keep our momentum going.”

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Carlos SAINZ, Team Peugeot Total driver

“Today went quite well for us, until the stage had to be stopped. We had a cleaner run than yesterday, and I have been very happy with the car. We set the fastest time at CP1. I do not agree with the final decision tonight. I will prepare myself for tomorrow’s marathon stage but this is not my last word on the subject.”

 

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WHAT’S NEXT?

Stage 3 has now been modified, due to weather. The competitors will start early, with a 410-kilometre road section, and then tackle a 143-kilometre stage at the beginning of afternoon. The stage will showcase some stunning scenery close to the Atlantic Coast and takes in a wide variety of terrain.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Peugeot 3008 SUV, on which the DKR is based, won the prestigious European Car of the Year award earlier this year. This is the most celebrated prize in the automotive world, elected by a panel of motoring experts, which is traditionally announced on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland. The car particularly impressed the judges with its combination of performance, interior design, and style.

 

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