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Dakar Rally win­ner Stephane Peterhansel has praised Peu­geot team boss Bruno Famin for not im­ple­ment­ing team or­ders to al­low Sebastien Loeb to take his first suc­cess on the South Amer­i­can marathon.

Peterhansel ended five min­utes clear of his team-mate, who dropped time with a punc­ture on the penul­ti­mate day of the rally which fin­ished in Buenos Aires on Satur­day.

Peu­geot’s 3008DKR locked out the podium with Cyril De­spres fin­ish­ing third. Car­los Sainz re­tired the fourth car in the first week, rolling out of the event.

Peterhansel said: “This is a su­perb win for Peu­geot. I was also glad that Bruno Famin didn’t is­sue any team or­ders. It was an open fight all the way to the fin­ish. My duel with Loeb was in­tense and also quite stress­ful. At the same time, we had tremen­dous fun driv­ing. It was never easy be­cause Sebastien is a proven cham­pion and ex­tremely fast.”

Loeb ad­mit­ted he’d given it ev­ery­thing in his pur­suit of the win. He said: “Even though we ended up sec­ond, we were in­volved in the thick of the fight for first place from start to fin­ish. After the small en­gine prob­lem we suf­fered early on, we never stopped push­ing. It was very ex­cit­ing be­cause we were flat out all the time, es­pe­cially on the last stages. It’s a shame our scrap ended, but it was an ex­tra­or­di­nary re­sult for Peu­geot.”

Famin said the one-two-three was the re­sult of the crews work­ing to­wards a com­mon goal. “We func­tioned as a sin­gle unit and team spirit pre­vailed,” said Famin. “The driv­ers never hes­i­tated to help each other out to an even greater ex­tent than ever. Ev­ery­body feared this year’s Dakar. This ten­sion led the team to work closely to­gether. We didn’t have any me­chan­i­cal is­sues, with the ex­cep­tion of a small prob­lem which de­prived Loeb of the win.”

Peterhansel took a last-gasp vic­tory

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