The third leg of the 2016 Silk Way Rally saw competitive action get underway in earnest in the course of today’s 815.15km run (Monday) from Ufa (Russia) to Kostanay in Kazakhstan.
♦ Today’s 200.43km stage saw Cyril DESPRES/David CASTERA move to the top of the leaderboard in the N°104 PEUGEOT 2008 DKR. It is the first time in his brief career on four wheels that the Peugeot Sport driver has led a cross-country rally; a good omen for the remainder of the event.
♦ Sébastien LOEB and Daniel ELENA soon found themselves running first on the road after the day’s two front-running crews came to a stop on the stage. It was a big challenge for the Franco-Monegasque pair, especially as the correct route was often obscured by tall grass. The crew of the N°12 PEUGEOT 2008 DKR coped well, however, to claim a solid third place.
♦ After winning Saturday’s super-special in Kazan on July 9, Stéphane PETERHANSEL and Jean-Paul COTTRET were first into today’s test but conceded nine minutes due to a slow puncture and a broken rim.
TYPE OF TERRAIN : Dirt and tall grass through forests.
CONDITIONS : Numerous junctions and re-acceleration; few straights.
WEATHER : Bright and sunny, no wind, 28°C.
AVERAGE SPEED : 103,3 kph
Bruno FAMIN (Team Manager, Team Peugeot Total / Director, Peugeot Sport)
It’s a good start to the Silk Way Rally for Team Peugeot Total. It was nice to see Cyril DESPRES and David CASTERA win the stage and take the lead. The event has only just begun, though, and the conditions are going to get tougher. Even so, we have already seen Stéphane PETERHANSEL hit trouble. My advice to the crews is to keep calm and stay focused.
Cyril DESPRES (Leg: 1st / Overall: 1st)
I thoroughly enjoyed myself today. The stage was twisty and pretty much stone-free, so it was fun to drive. We made a couple of navigational errors but they didn’t cost us much time. David did a great job. I hope we will see more of the same tomorrow and that we will be able to keep up the same sort of pace as we did today.
Sébastien LOEB (Leg: 3rd / Overall: 3rd)
My car performed well and we didn’t have any problems whatsoever. After Stéphane and Vasilyev stopped, we found ourselves running first on the road. There was a lot of tall grass and it wasn’t always easy to spot the correct track. We made a few mistakes but we didn’t take any risks. We mustn’t lose sight of the fact that our objective is to clock up as many kilometres as possible and also find a pace that suits us without overdoing it.
Stéphane PETERHANSEL (Leg: 8th / Overall: 8th)
We picked up a slow puncture shortly after the start of the stage. We decided not to change the wheel but then we had to stop because of another puncture. It was a very interesting stage and technically quite challenging. Like most crews, we made a few navigational mistakes like others competitors. Things will be better tomorrow.
Provisional classification – Leg 3 (Ufa-Kostanay)
1. Cyril Despres (FRA) / David Castera (FRA), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, 1h56min45s
2. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU) / Timo Gottschalk (DEU), Mini, +2min40s
3. Sébastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MC), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, +4min14s
4. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS), Mini, +5min15s
5. Evgeny Firsov (RUS) / Vadim Filatov, Toyota Pick-up, 6min37s
8. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, +9min00s
Overall positions after Leg 3
1. Cyril Despres (FRA) / David Castera (FRA), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, 1h58min24s
2. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU) / Timo Gottschalk (DEU), Mini, +2min37s
3. Sébastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MC), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, +4min10s
4. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS), Mini, +5min11s
5. Evgeny Firsov (RUS) / Vadim Filatov, Toyota Pick-up, 6min40s
8. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, +8min52s
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).
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