Team Peugeot Total notched up its third one-two stage finish of the 2016 Silk Way Rally on Leg 10. The #100 and #102 PEUGEOT 2008 DKRs completed Tuesday’s fast, fiercely-contested competitive section at the very top of the timesheet, while the #104 car missed out on third place by just 30 seconds. The result sees Peugeot strengthen its provisional hold on the top two overall places.
- Following their one-two-three performance on Monday, the three PEUGEOT 2008 DKRs started today’s leg at four-minute intervals. They soon regrouped in order to run in close formation for much of the 340km competitive section and aided each other through the portions which featured complex navigation.
- Team Peugeot Total’s ‘Saint Bernards’ Stéphane PETERHANSEL / Jean Paul COTTRET collected their third stage victory of the event in the #100 PEUGEOT 2008 DKR despite spending the day behind their Peugeot Sport team-mates to provide rear-guard cover.
- True to form, Sébastien LOEB / Daniel ELENA produced a consistent display again to earn another second-best effort and defend their second place in the provisional overall standings, 18 minutes clear of their closest threats.
- Cyril DESPRES / David CASTERA finished just 30 seconds short of the podium but successfully matched the pace of LOEB / ELENA who passed them soon after the start. The former-biker’s style in the PEUGEOT 2008 DKR is getting smoother all the time and he is feeling increasingly at ease in his new front-running role.
TYPE OF TERRAIN : 95% tracks: dirt and sand 85% / stony ground 10%; 5% off-road: sand, dirt and gravel
CONDITIONS : Fast, technically-demanding and rough; a car shaker
WEATHER : Sunny; average temperature: 35.9°C; maximum temperature: 41.6°C
AVERAGE SPEED : 98kph
Bruno FAMIN (Team Manager, Team Peugeot Total / Director, Peugeot Sport)
It’s nice to have come first and second again. Our crews ran together and all three PEUGEOT 2008 DKRs went well on today’s high-speed stage. We’re a day closer to the finish but there are still four big, challenging stages ahead of us. We must continue to steer clear of mistakes and we certainly can’t afford to take our eyes off the ball.
Stéphane PETERHANSEL (Leg: 1st / Overall: 23rd)
We were fastest on the stage but, as is often the case on the Silk Way Rally, start orders had a big influence on the result. We soon closed on the cars ahead of us and, as they erred off the correct route, we found ourselves up at the front of the field. I think it was just a case of making fewer mistakes than the others. We will consequently be first on the road tomorrow and we know we will need to wait for Cyril and Sébastien because our role now is to provide them with assistance if they need it. It’s the first time I’ve had to do that but I am happy to play the team game to make sure there’s a Peugeot on top when we reach Beijing. It’s a little less stressful like this, so you can have more fun driving because you’re not trying to save every tiny second. All I have to play for is to help my colleagues.
Sébastien LOEB (Leg: 2nd / Overall: 2nd)
Cyril and I stayed together, repeatedly passing each other while keeping up a fast pace. We know we lack experience but we’re in a good position. I am very happy with the way today went and we didn’t make many mistakes. Running at the front is doing us good because we are improving day after day. I haven’t decided on any sort of strategy for the next few days. It’s hard to control the situation when you’re in the midst of a competition like this. Instead of trying to play it smart, we are going with the flow. We will continue to push and do our best on the stages, while trying not to make any navigational errors. We have valuable rear-guard protection from the #100 Peugeot and Stéphane. It’s good to have them just behind us, just in case…
Cyril DESPRES (Leg: 4th / Overall: 1st)
It’s quite a job trying not to lose too much ground to Sébastien LOEB! We only dropped two minutes today and we had some good sport! We were flat out all day and, apart from a short time when we got stuck in sand, it was a fast stage, with some peaks at 180kph. I’m glad to see that I am starting to think ahead, so I’m getting caught out less frequently. I sense where I can be gentler on the brakes and harder on the throttle. David and I are just trying to keep a clear head and be as tidy as we can on the stages. I feel confident and the Peugeot is a delight to drive.
Provisional classification – Leg 10
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, 3h18min49s
2. Sébastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MC), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, +1min15s
3. Harry Hunt (GBR) / Andreas Schulz (DEU) , Mini, +3min03s
4. Cyril Despres (FRA) / David Castera (FRA), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, +3min35s
5. Yazeed Al Rahji (SAU) / Timo Gottschalk (DEU), Mini, +4min13s
Provisional overall leaderboard after Leg 10
1.Cyril Despres (FRA) / David Castera (FRA), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, 22h25min08s
2.Sébastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MC), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, +9min57s
3.Yazeed Al Rahji (SAU) / Timo Gottschalk (DEU), Mini, +28min
4.Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS), Mini, +45min46s
5.Harry Hunt (GBR) / Andreas Schulz (DEU) , Mini, +1h19min13s
23. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, +9h20min14s
NEXT: LEG 11 (WEDNESDAY) The 561km route from Dunhuang to Wednesday night’s camp in Jiayuguan features a 330.20km competitive section which itself includes around eight kilometres of rolling and crested dunes. Apart from that, the stage is expected to be quite flowing.
SPOT THE PEUGEOT 2008 DKR
The three PEUGEOTs can be distinguished by the colour of their PEUGEOT windscreen strip and competition numbers: yellow for Stéphane PETERHANSEL/Jean-Paul COTTRET (N°100), white for Sébastien LOEB / Daniel ELENA (N°102) and red for Cyril DESPRES / David CASTERA (N°104).
FOLLOW PEUGEOT SPORT ONLINE Follow the Peugeot Total Team drivers and the PEUGEOT 2008 DKR (photos & vidéos) on Peugeot & Peugeot Sport official channels.
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