Photos: Red Bull Con­tent Pool, mck­lein-im­age­ Twelve-time win­ner ready to give up vic­tory shot to help Loeb win

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Mul­ti­ple Dakar win­ner Stephane Peterhansel is ready to sac­ri­fice his own chances of a 13th win on the clas­sic event to help Peu­geot and team-mate Se­bastien Loeb.

Peterhansel earned his sixth win in a car at Dakar ear­lier this year to match his six on a bike, but says now the time has come to help Loeb, who he de­scribes as “prob­a­bly the best driver in the world”.

“We know that Se­bastien is the fu­ture of Peu­geot in the Dakar,” he said. “We will try to help him, I can drive like a shadow for him in the fu­ture, I don’t mind.

“I will do every­thing what I can to help him win. Seb and Daniel [Elena] have the ca­pac­ity to win Dakar re­ally quickly.”

Peterhansel, 50, was im­pressed with Loeb’s speed in the first half of the Dakar, but added that ex­pe­ri­ence would help him on his sec­ond at­tempt next year.

“Loeb can win Dakar,” he said. “He can learn very quickly. He made some mis­takes this year, but he is re­ally in­tel­li­gent and he won’t make the same mis­takes again next sea­son. He’s in a re­ally good team, with good team-mates: Cyril De­spres, Car­los [Sainz] and me – he will learn from us re­ally quickly.”

Asked how much longer he would com­pete at the high­est level of cross-country ral­ly­ing, Peterhansel said: “I will def­i­nitely do next sea­son, but will I be here in five years? No. I don’t know how long to stay; Car­los [Sainz] is a cou­ple of years older than me, but look at him this year – he was so quick! Now, I don’t need to win again. I can drive com­pletely for the team.”

Loeb was lead­ing this year’s Dakar un­til the eighth stage when he rolled his 2008 DKR, giv­ing Peterhansel a two-minute lead.

Peterhansel scored 12th Dakar win in 2016 with his sixth car vic­tory

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