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Peugeot Pulls Off a Coup in Dunes, With End of Silk Way Rally in Sight

[dropcap]P[/dropcap]eugeot drivers were relieved to get through the final day of complex dunes on the Silk Way Rally, achieved in consummate style as it was another one-two for the Peugeot DKR.

Peugeot DKR #100 #104

Peugeot DKR #100 #105

Peugeot DKR #100 #106

The penultimate leg of the rally was widely acknowledged as perhaps the trickiest of the entire event, but Peterhansel and Despres enjoyed a strong one-two formation finish, both drivers negotiating the route in convoy.

Unlike Friday, there were no untoward occurrences and it was a long yet reasonably straightforward run over 318 competitive kilometres, which means that Peugeot now stands on the threshold of a second consecutive Silk Way Rally victory, following Despres’s success last year.

But of course, it’s never over until it’s really over… so Sunday’s final 100 kilometres will be tackled with caution.

Cimmenting on the progress made do far, Stéphane PETERHANSEL, Team Peugeot Total Driver1st of stage 13 / 5th overall (cars) said:“We had a very long and complicated stage today with lots of dunes so we were really relieved to cross the finish line. I feel tired now. I drove the whole stage together with Cyril, so that worked well.

“My co-driver Jean-Paul did a great job and we didn’t get stuck in the sand, so it’s mostly positive for us. In the end, here we are here, close to the end of the rally. This record of Peugeot stage victories is a kind of consolation for me. I had two goals from when I had the accident and knew I was not in contention for victory anymore: helping my teammates and winning stages, for fun.”

Whereas Cyril DESPRES, Team Peugeot Total Driver
2nd of stage 13 / 1st overall
believed that Saturday’s event went well.  But, in his view, it was a very long day on the special stage, more than five hours of racing in total, which we were not really expecting.

He stated: “We knew the big dunes would be challenging and it seems that they have been shaking up the overall classification. I think myself and David did a good job, so we are happy! Our pace was good and we made no real mistakes on the dunes, which was the most important thing. I am grateful to Stéphane and Jean Paul, who have again been our guardian angels.

“I can start thinking about the victory. I am really excited to end the rally in the best way possible.”

Peugeot DKR #100 #103

Sunday: Stage 14
Sunday’s leg is 716.56 kilometres long, but only 100.67 of those kilometres are competitive: the rest is formed of a long road section to the finish in Xi’an. The stage itself is short but technical, running through the bottom of a spectacular canyon. While there are no particularly obvious hazards to trip crews up, this is obviously one of the most important stages for drivers and co-drivers to get right.

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