Team Peugeot-Total’s Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret remain in the Silk Way Rally after finishing second on Leg 6, before Friday’s rest day.
The 2016 Dakar Rally winner had nursed his stricken Peugeot 2008 DKR to the bivouac after dropping more than six hours to the leaders, as well as suffering a few time penalties along the way.
Team Peugeot-Total’s technical team worked through the night to get the 2008 DKR ready for today’s stage, which they managed to get Peterhansel and Cottret’s car repaired in under seven hours for the start of Leg 6. The French pair managed to finish the stage second, but they languish in seventy-first place in the overall leaderboard.
Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena took advantage of errors from their rivals to finish the stage in third, and solidifying their position in second.
Cyril Despres and David Castera finished fifteenth due to a number of problems, but they still remain the overall leaders of the rally by eight minutes, ahead of Loeb and Elena.
Peterhansel said after Leg 6 “After our crash yesterday, we needed to build up our confidence again and get back into the rhythm. Our start order helped us to make up for lost time because we could see the tracks made by the vehicles ahead of us. There wasn’t much off-road driving for us because we were behind the fastest trucks and that allowed us to post a good time.
“All the mechanics spent the night doing everything they could to make sure we could stay in the event and we were even in a position where we were able to fight for the stage win! It’s very pleasing to have posted the second-best time. Our aim now is to help Cyril and Sébastien and make sure there’s a Peugeot on top when we reach Beijing.”
Loeb mentioned about his confidence of being up with the leaders “In conditions like this, it’s obviously an advantage to run a little way down the start order because you can see the tracks made by the cars ahead of you. We soon caught the front-runners and it turned out to be a good day for us because we made up time on our main rivals. Being in second place at the rest day is a big confidence booster.”
Despres added “A lot of crews are going well! We had the difficult honour of running first on the road again today and there was a great deal of off-road driving. We did the job we had to do and we are still first overall. The second part of the event is quite mouth-watering, with lots of sand and dunes… proper cross-country rallying!”