The Rallye du Maroc got underway today with a short 12-kilometre prologue stage close to Fes, as a warm-up for the first proper stage of the Rallye du Maroc that starts tomorrow.
• PEUGEOT 3008DKR crew Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena finished the Prologue stage second overall, 18 seconds behind the leader. Unfortunately, they have been penalised by an extra minute for exceeding the speed limit by just two kilometres per hour in a limited speed zone, dropping them down the order to 11th position.
• Their team mates Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz were fourth after their first competitive stage together in nine months. Both cars got cleanly through the stage with no issues.
• The results of today’s stage allowed the top 10 finishers to choose their start positions for the following day, which will be of considerable strategic importance. Sainz and Loeb will begin Friday in 1st and 11th places on the road respectively.
DATAS OF THE STAGE
Average temperature: 37.5°C
Maximum speed: 166kph
Type of terrain: narrow and tricky tracks
NUMBER OF THE DAY: 3 With three different manufacturers in the top four places after the opening stage, the competition looks set to be as close as was expected before the beginning of the event.
QUOTES / UNQUOTE
Bruno FAMIN Peugeot Sport Director Team Manager Peugeot Total
“As is always the case on a superspecial like this, it was the sort of stage where there was definitely more to lose than to gain, so the drivers exercised a degree of caution over the short stage. Tomorrow is when the real action starts, and the top 10 finishers today will be able to choose their starting positions, which will be of great strategic importance as tomorrow will be a proper stage: classic rally raid.”
Carlos SAINZ Team Peugeot Total driver 4th on the stage, 4th overall
“Not much to say, no problems for us although it was a quite tricky stage. It was very narrow with some concrete places to catch you out: we just took it easy. The rally starts tomorrow, so we’ll see where we are tomorrow night. Maybe we were a bit too careful, but there’s no point taking risks at this stage.”
Sébastien LOEB Team Peugeot Total driver 11th on the stage, 11th overall
“It was a short day but it went well for us and the car is working nicely: we set second-fastest time, which was important for us, but unfortunately we got this penalty, which is a pity. Everything wasgoing fine with the 3008DKR; it wasn’t a particularly technical stage, with just one clear track to follow, but we needed to get it right. We will catch up and give our best tomorrow.”
Tomorrow the competitors make their way from Fes to Erfoud: where Peugeot Sport has traditionally carried out most of its testing in Morocco. After a gentle day today, with a start at noon, it’s an early start for 367.18 challenging kilometres of special stage as well as 460.39 kilometres of road section: the longest day of the whole event.
DID YOU KNOW?
Peugeot launched its Pick Up in Morocco today, a new double cab model that takes over the mantle of the Peugeot 504 pick up, which was produced in Africa right up until 2005. The new Peugeot Pick Up features a double cab, 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine, and a four-wheel drive option that allows it to go anywhere over the rough roads of Morocco.