PETERHANSEL EDGES OUT LOEB ON DAKAR RALLY
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