Peugeot are celebrating a 1,2,3 victory at this year’s Dakar Rally. The pairing of Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret were victorious in their new Peugeot 3008DKR, they finished the gruelling 9,000km rally ahead of second place driver Sébastien Leob and Daniel Elena, with the third place Peugeot 3008DKR of Cyril Despres and Davif Castera following close behind. The 2017 cross-country rally turned out to be a close, drama-packed affair with numerous leader changes and exceptionally small gaps between drivers, from start to finish. The challenging route included high-altitude running, tougher than ever navigation and appalling weather. However, the brand new, two-wheel drive Peugeot 3008DKR from Team Peugeot Total successfully took over the baton from last year’s winning car, the Peugeot 2008DKR, and made an immediate mark on the world’s toughest cross-country rally, warding off its all-wheel drive opposition to reign supreme.
Bruno Famin, Peugeot Sport Director, said, “After such an emphatic win, it’s obviously been a positive event for us. We got three cars onto the podium and that’s an accomplishment Peugeot and everyone at Peugeot Sport can be proud of. The 3008DKR won the Dakar at its first attempt, so there’s every reason to be pleased with the jobs performed by everyone in the team, from the mechanics to the crews.”
In first place, Peterhansel / Cottret, the most successful crew ever in the event’s history, flew the French tricolour high and proud as they steered their Peugeot 3008DKR to victory, clocking up their seventh success together and setting a new record for Stéphane Peterhansel: seven wins on four wheels, six wins on two wheels.
Stéphane Peterhansel, said “This is a superb win for Peugeot and I was delighted to have such an exceptional car. It was an open fight all the way to the finish. We faced stiff competition, not only from our own team-mates, with three other strong drivers in the squad, but also from the other teams. My duel with Sébastien was intense and also quite stressful. At the same time, we had tremendous fun driving. It was never easy because Sébastien is a proven champion and extremely fast, and he has plenty of experience of managing from in front, so it was never straightforward for us, as can be seen by the small gap that separated us at the finish.”
Sébastien Loeb / Daniel Elena demonstrated impressive progress on their second only Dakar Rally, to take second place overall. Emerging as the fastest crew of the fortnight, they combined shrewd pace management with strong navigational skills. Seventh overall in 2016, Cyril Despres and David Castera shared the Dakar Rally’s podium celebrations for the first time on four wheels, taking third place. A fourth 3008 DKR, driven by Carol Sainz and co-driver, Cruz, rolled on Stage 4. The damage sustained to the N°304 car proved too much for the mechanics to repair within the authorised time and the Spaniards were forced to hand in their timecard, when they were unfortunately eliminated.