Team Peugeot-Total are one step closer to winning the 2016 Silk Way Rally after collecting their ninth win of the rally.
Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret won today’s Stage 13, putting the French pair up to fifteenth place overall in the #100 Peugeot 2008 DKR.
Silk Way Rally leaders Cyril Despres and David Castera put in another stellar performance as they finished the stage in third place, extending their lead in the rally by over 31 minutes to MINI All4 Racing’s Yazeed Al Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk.
Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena after their missed waypoint misfortunes on Thursday managed to finish in fifth place. The Franco-Monegasque pair are now in eighth place overall in the rally.
Peterhansel said after finishing Stage 13 “That was a nice long stage with around 100km over relatively hard-packed dunes with lots of navigation. It lasted almost five hours and we managed to gradually pick off the cars that started ahead of us before settling in behind Cyril. Our car was a pleasure to drive and the whole Team Peugeot Total operation has made impressive progress. We are having fun every day.”
Despres mentioned about the finish of the rally. “It was a hard but enjoyable stage, and it means we’re now closer than ever to the finish in Beijing. It will be good when we arrive there! There’s just one more competitive section to come but it includes some 60km of off-road driving. David and I feel confident and we are very focused. We are fortunate to be able to count on the support of everyone at Peugeot Sport. I’m not new to motorsport and I know how to handle this sort of situation.”
Loeb added “It wasn’t a particularly exciting stage for us. We were penalised by our late starting order this morning, amidst several runners in the Trucks category. We found a decent pace but we were often slowed by other competitors. Not only that but the conditions had also been worsened by the front-runners and the dunes were quite churned up. We got stuck again and this time we dug the car free ourselves. We are doing the best we can and continuing to learn. Every day we feel a little more confident.”
There are two more legs of the 2016 Silk Way Rally to go as the teams and crews will head from Wuhai to the inner Mongolia capital of Hohhot on Saturday.