Sebastien Loeb: “We were flat out all the time”

by Paul Hensby

Despite being forced to settle for second in the Dakar Rally behind Peugeot team-mate Stephane Peterhansel, Sebastien Loeb felt it was a positive fortnight for him as he took five stage wins.

The Frenchman was in the thick of the fight for victory throughout, and but for his engine problem he suffered early in week one, it could have been an even better outcome for Loeb, while a puncture during the penultimate stage on Friday cost him and co-driver Daniel Elena their final opportunity of closing down Peterhansel.

Loeb was delighted to see Peugeot lock out the podium on Saturday, and admitted it was a rally that saw him go flat out from the beginning, although he ended up 5 minutes and 13 seconds adrift of the rally winner.

“It was a good event for us and, even though we ended up second, we were involved in the thick of the fight for first place from start to finish,” said Loeb.

“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 anti-penultimate and penultimate stages. It was a tremendous rally. It’s a shame our scrap ended when I punctured yesterday.

“Overall, we had great fun and we ended up second on what turned out to be a highly complex event, while Peugeot ended up first, second and third. That’s an extraordinary team result!”

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