Peter­hansel heads Peu­geot Dakar clean sweep

Motor Equipment News - - NEWS MOTORSPORT - Story by Ross MacKay. Photos by Red Bull Con­tent Pool.

Peu­geot’s fu­tur­is­tic 2WD 3008 DKRs dom­i­nated this year’s Dakar Rally in South Amer­ica, event leg­end Stephane Peter­hansel lead­ing home team­mates Se­bastien Loeb and Cyril De­spres to claim a record 13th win and top a podium clean sweep for the French man­u­fac­turer.

Dubai-based Brit Sam Sun­der­land won the bike sec­tion from KTM team­mate Matthias Walkner while Rus­sian Sergey Karyakin won the Quad class on a Yamaha.

Another Rus­sian, Ed­uard Niko­laev , won the Truck class for Ka­maz, while a Brazil­ian, Le­an­dro Tor­res, was the first winner of the UTV class in­tro­duced this year be­hind the wheel of a Po­laris.

This year’s Dakar Rally was the 39th and ninth since the threat of ter­ror­ist ac­tion saw the event moved from Africa to South Amer­ica.

Though the lat­est V8-en­giened 4WD Toy­ota Hiluxes of Spa­niar Nani Roma and South African Giniel de Vil­liers fin­ished first and sec­ond in class they were no match out­right for the pur­pose-built 2WD Peu­geots of Peter­hansel, Loeb and De­spres, et al.

“We were fight­ing with six or seven driv­ers at the be­gin­ning of the race and after a while, they were only four. And dur­ing the last week, we were only two – just Seb and I. We fought re­ally strongly and I am the winner in the end – but it’s a small de­tail. I prob­a­bly won the Dakar on Fri­day when Seb got a punc­ture. This is the vic­tory of ex­pe­ri­ence, ”Peter­hansel told re­porters after the podium cer­e­mony.

“Ob­vi­ously we’re a lit­tle bit dis­ap­pointed,” said Toy­ota man Giniel De Vil­liers, “but you have to give big con­grat­u­la­tions to Peu­geot be­cause they de­serve their suc­cess. We didn’t quite have the pace so maybe we have to switch to two-wheel drive in fu­ture to com­pete with them. All in all it was a very tough Dakar with plenty of nav­i­ga­tion which is good.”

This year’s Dakar event cov­ered nearly 9,000km and more than 4000km of spe­cial stages (13) start­ing from Asun­cion in Paraguay and trav­el­ling through Bo­livia and Ar­gen­tine be­fore a cer­e­mo­nial fin­ish in Buenos Aires.

It started on Mon­day Jan­uary 02 and fin­ished on Satur­day Jan­uary 14, at­tract­ing 491 com­peti­tors in (or on) 316 race ve­hi­cles.

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