Stephane Peterhansel will take a twenty-seven minute and ten second advantage into the second week of the 2018 Dakar Rally, with the Frenchman admitting it was a straightforward opening week.
The Peugeot Sport racer may only have taken one stage win in the opening six stages, but the thirteen-time Dakar winner has been extremely consistent throughout, and will head into the seventh stage on Saturday with a healthy advantage over team-mate Carlos Sainz Sr.
However, Peterhansel remains cautious that there is a long way to go as the rally now moves into Bolivia until Monday before five more stages in Argentina to conclude the event.
“We can draw a positive conclusion from these first six stages,” said Peterhansel. “We’ve had quite a clean and straightforward week up to now.
“Our best day was Wednesday, when we won SS5. We’re obviously very happy. Having said that, we’ve only covered a third of the rally in terms of competitive distance. And we know that in places like Belen and Fiambala, there are still some very complicated stages to come.
“Anything can still happen as there is a big variety of stages in store. There have been plenty of dunes up to now and that has worked well for us, to be honest. Now we’re in Bolivia, we’re going to be faced with different types of stages.”