PEUGEOT 3008DKRS MONOPOLISE TOP 3 ON SECOND MARATHON SECTION By: PEUGEOT
PEUGEOT 3008DKRs claimed the three fastest times for the second time since the start of the 2017 Dakar Rally. Sébastien LOEB, Stéphane PETERHANSEL and Cyril DESPRES locked out the podium on Tuesday's shortened stage to make it an all-Team Peugeot Total overall top three once more, with the provisional leaderboard topped by LOEB/ELENA.
◾The three surviving PEUGEOT 3008DKRs made their mark on the 2017 Dakar Rally's marathon test by posting the three best times on Stage 8. Sébastien LOEB and Daniel ELENA topped Tuesday's order with an effort of 4h11m2s which has taken them 1m38s clear of team-mates Stéphane PETERHANSEL/Jean-Paul COTTRET who were second quickest today (+3m35s). The sold run of Cyril DESPRES/David CASTERA was rewarded with the third-best time (+5m35s) and they are now back up to third overall, 6m19s ahead of Nani ROMA/Alex HARO BRAVO.
◾In keeping with the Dakar's marathon stage rules, no outside servicing was permitted at last night's bivouac in Uyuni where the crews were left to their own devices. All three Team Peugeot Total crews carried out work on their respective PEUGEOT 3008DKRs, including LOEB and ELENA who changed their car's power steering pump. The Peugeot Sport pairings went on to lock out Stage 8's podium.
◾Recent poor weather continued to affect the 2017 Dakar Rally and forced the organisers to shorten the two competitive sections that made up Stage 8 from 492km in total to 417km, while servicing was exceptionally permitted between today's two timed runs. Competitors were then blocked by a landslide on the ensuing road section to Salta, Argentina, which has also led to the cancellation of Wednesday's Stage 9. The service vehicles aren't expected to reach the northwest Argentine city before late into the night.
TYPE OF TERRAIN: mud, off-road driving and navigation, then WRC-style tracks.
CONDITIONS: difficult, lots of standing surface water.
TEMPERATURES: between 10°C and 21.6°C.
AVERAGE SPEED: 95.5kph.
TOP SPEED: 176.5kph.
CLASSIFICATION - LEG 8:
1. LOEB Sébastien (FRA) / ELENA Daniel (MON), PEUGEOT 3008DKR, 4h11m2s
2. PETERHANSEL Stéphane (FRA) / COTTRET J-P. (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR, +3m35s
3. DESPRES Cyril (FRA) / David CASTERA (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR, +5m13s
4. HIRVONEN Mikko (FIN) / PERIN Michel (FRA), Mini, +8m14s
5. DE VILLIERS Giniel (ZAF) / VON ZITZEWITZ Dirk (ZAF), Toyota Hilux, +11m57s
PROVISIONAL STANDINGS AFTER LEG 8
1. LOEB Sébastien (FRA) / ELENA Daniel (MON), PEUGEOT 3008DKR, 20h10m5s
2. PETERHANSEL Stéphane (FRA) / COTTRET J-P. (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR, +1m38s
3. DESPRES Cyril (FRA) / David CASTERA (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR, +17m17s
4. ROMA Nani (ESP) / HARO Bravo (ESP), Toyota Hilux, +23m36s
5. HIRVONEN Mikko (FIN) / PERIN Michel (FRA), Mini, +53m41s
Sébastien LOEB (PEUGEOT 3008DKR #309)
Leg 8: 1st / Overall: 1st
'We had to work on our car at last night's halt in Uyuni. I helped Daniel until around 11pm before going to bed. The first part of today's stage went well for us and our car ran like clockwork. The conditions were far from perfect and we came across stretches of standing water that were up to 600 metres long. Stéphane was a little faster than us during the early off-road section but we had the edge when the terrain switched to more conventional tracks. We did our best to open up a gap but we then punctured on a concealed rock in a ford about 80km from the end. We went on to win the stage, though, and we're back in the overall lead. We will be first on the road on Thursday when we hear that the navigation will be just as hard, if not harder. We are still in the fight, and that's what counts, even though Stéphane isn't far behind. He's going well, so we will need to keep pushing without making any mistakes. Daniel has a good grasp now of calling the notes, even on the off-road stuff. It's going well for us but this is far from over...'
Stéphane PETERHANSEL (PEUGEOT 3008DKR #300)
Leg 8: 2nd / Overall: 2nd
'It wasn't a perfect day for us. An early puncture after around 120km cost us three minutes and allowed Sébastien to pass us on the road. We ran behind him after that, staying just clear of the dust thrown up by his car. We ended up losing a little more than three minutes to him. Even so, I am pleased with my time today because some 300km of today's stage was on WRC-style tracks. We didn't do too badly and we are pleased not to have dropped more ground than we did. We're no longer in the lead but the gap isn't very big and anything can still happen. Sébastien LOEB knows how to handle pressure and manage a lead but we will do our best to go fastest on the remaining stages. The three Peugeots are all back on the provisional podium which is a comfortable position to be in. I am disappointed that Wednesday's 'Super Belen' test has been cancelled - it would have been a good test for us and a chance to hit back.'
Cyril DESPRES (PEUGEOT 3008DKR #307)
Leg 8: 3rd / Overall: 3rd
'Last night we had to tend to a lower suspension wishbone problem which was due to play in a ball joint. I decided it was wiser to change the part, so David and I didn't get to sleep until quite late. We were in good form this morning, though. We had a big moment today when we aquaplaned on some standing water. The force of the water managed to open David's door and he was treated to an unexpected shower! We didn't have any problems at all on the second section which was more of a WRC-style stage and not really our type of terrain. We started six minutes behind Nani ROMA but finished four minutes ahead of him, so we are quite pleased with our day.'