Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret completed another Team Peugeot-Total 1-2 on Stage 10 of the Silk Way Rally.
The 340 kilometre Stage 10 saw Team Peugeot-Total run in formation for most of the stage as the crews helped each other navigate through tricky portions of the leg.
Meanwhile, Peterhansel and Cottret spent much of the day behind their Peugeot-Total team-mates as rear-guard cover for their team-mates. Nonetheless, they secured their third stage win of the Silk Way, ahead of their team-mates Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena. The 2016 Dakar winners remain in twenty-third place, a long way off the leaders.
Loeb and Elena again produced another consistent display to finish second, which is their overall position after Stage 10. Rally leaders Cyril Despres and David Castera finished in fourth, thirty seconds from the final podium spot. Despres and Castera remain the overall leaders of the rally by under ten minutes ahead of Loeb and Elena in second.
Peterhansel said after winning Stage 10 “We were fastest on the stage but, as is often the case on the Silk Way Rally, start orders had a big influence on the result. We soon closed on the cars ahead of us and, as they erred off the correct route, we found ourselves up at the front of the field. I think it was just a case of making fewer mistakes than the others.
“We will consequently be first on the road tomorrow and we know we will need to wait for Cyril and Sébastien because our role now is to provide them with assistance if they need it. It’s the first time I’ve had to do that but I am happy to play the team game to make sure there’s a Peugeot on top when we reach Beijing. It’s a little less stressful like this, so you can have more fun driving because you’re not trying to save every tiny second. All I have to play for is to help my colleagues.“
Loeb mentioned about staying close with Despres during today’s stage.“Cyril and I stayed together, repeatedly passing each other while keeping up a fast pace. We know we lack experience but we’re in a good position. I am very happy with the way today went and we didn’t make many mistakes.”
Despres added “It’s quite a job trying not to lose too much ground to Sébastien (Loeb)! We only dropped two minutes today and we had some good sport! We were flat out all day and, apart from a short time when we got stuck in sand, it was a fast stage, with some peaks at 180kph. I’m glad to see that I am starting to think ahead, so I’m getting caught out less frequently. I sense where I can be gentler on the brakes and harder on the throttle. David and I are just trying to keep a clear head and be as tidy as we can on the stages. I feel confident and the Peugeot is a delight to drive.”