Status quo on Dakar Rally as Peugeot strengthens its hold on the leading positions

With three days of competitive action now remaining on the Dakar, Team PEUGEOT Total continues to hold first and second after today’s 280-kilometre stage: one of the shorter ones on the menu for this year. Nonetheless, it was also one of the most complex, characterised by the loose sand of the Fiambala region, on the fringes of the famous Altiplano. Despite the complexity of the terrain, all three PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi crews were in the top four, within 15 seconds of each other! Tomorrow, they face the longest stage of the whole rally…

The fastest PEUGEOT on today’s stage was that of Cyril Despres/David Castera, which was second. Running with a considerable delay in the overall classification, they once more concentrated on their role as Sherpas for their team mates in first and second, delayed only by a puncture.

Overall leaders Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz stretched their advantage after finishing third on the stage. They set a strong pace at the beginning of the stage, but then controlled their rhythm and concentrated on making the finish safely. They are now 50m45s in the lead over Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret.

Peterhansel and Cottret consolidated their second place overall with fourth-fastest time on the tricky stage, despite running first on the road without the tracks of the motorcycles. They are now 23m17s ahead of their closest rivals in the general classification.

Having examined the evidence and data closely, the Dakar stewards decided to reverse the decision made on Monday 15 January in Salta and cancel the 10-minute penalty given to the #303 PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi.



1. Bernhard Ten Brinke (NLD) / Michel Perin (FRA), Toyota 4WD, 4h10m54s
2. Cyril Despres (FRA) / David Castera (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, +4m35s
3. Carlos Sainz (ESP) / Lucas Cruz (ESP), PEUGEOT 3008 DKR Maxi, +440s
4. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, +4m50s
5. Nasser Al Attiyah (QAT) / Matthieu Baumel (FRA), Toyota 4WD, +5m56s
6. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF) / Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZAF), Toyota 4WD, +11m57s
7. Jakub Przygonski (POL) / Tom Colsoul (BEL), Mini 4WD, +19m47s
8. Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi (ARE) / Xavier Panseri (FRA), Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi, +29m13s
9. Orlando Terranova (ARG) / Bernardo Graue (ARG), Mini 4WD, +42m12s
10. Lucio Alvarez (ARG) / Robert Howie (ZAF), Toyota 4WD, +42m23s


1. Carlos Sainz (ESP) / Lucas Cruz (ESP), PEUGEOT 3008 DKR Maxi, 36h26m27s

2. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, +50m45s
3. Nasser Al Attiyah (QAT) / Matthieu Baumel (FRA), Toyota 4WD, +1h14m02s
4. Bernhard Ten Brinke (NLD) / Michel Perin (FRA), Toyota 4WD, +1h17m35s
5. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF) / Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZAF), Toyota 4WD, +1h30m05s
6. Jakub Przygonski (POL) / Tom Colsoul (BEL), Mini 4WD, +2h44m18s
7. Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi (ARE) / Xavier Panseri (FRA), Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi, +3h16m19s
8. Martin Prokop (CZE) / Jan Tomanek (CZE), Ford 4WD, +5h53m08s
9. Peter Van Merksteijn (NED) / Maciej Marton (POL), Toyota 4WD, +6h31m09s
10. Sebastian Halpern (ARG) / Edu Pulenta (ARG), Toyota 4WD, +8h41m21s
TBC. Cyril Despres (FRA) / David Castera (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, +44h47m23s



Bruno FAMIN, PEUGEOT Sport director
“Carlos now has a comfortable lead and Stéphane is covering him in second place. But there’s still a long way to go to the finish and we have to get to Cordoba with no drama, which is never a given. Regarding the penalty, we appreciate the event stewards looking into this again and re-examining all the documents and other evidence at their disposal. We supplied them with a certain amount of data, relating to the speed and movement of the car. They were able to compare that to the tracking and ascertain that Carlos’s point of view was the correct one – of which we never had any doubt.”


Cyril DESPRES (PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi n°308)
2nd on stage 11 / TBC in overall classification

“This time, Fiambala was a little less of a treasure hunt for waypoints than it has been in the past. However, it’s just as tough as ever to climb up shifting sand dunes in this altitude in this hot weather! Maybe I was a little too cautious in the opening part of the stage. At one point, I think we lost two minutes just by lifting off in a place where we lost the tracks ahead of us. We had to change a wheel at a passage control after a puncture, but towards the finish of the stage we woke up a bit, and in the end the time was good.”


Carlos SAINZ (PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi n°303)
3rd on stage 11 / 1st in overall classification

“Fiambala is always one of the most difficult stages of the whole Dakar and we saw that again today. My idea was just to go at a good pace but without pushing too hard. So, I was pleased to see after the first part of the stage that we were definitely in the fight. I went a bit quicker on the second part of the stage and we ended up with a decent time. That’s slightly increased our lead, so things are good for now.”


Stéphane PETERHANSEL (PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi n°300)
4th on stage 11 / 2nd in overall classification
“We took a big jump over a dune – our first big jump of the rally – which shook us around a bit. As a result, our backs are somewhat sore…I think I’ve got a vertebra missing! The car’s steering was also affected by the impact. As we were first on the road, navigation was tricky. We drove together with the first motorbike to try and find the way. I have to say that our BF Goodrich tyres have been really strong. When I look at the speeds with which we drive through the thorny sections, it’s incredible that we don’t get any punctures.”


The PEUGEOT subsidiary in Argentina is in full growth. In 2017, the 208 GTi and PEUGEOT 308 GTi sports hatches were launched, as well as the PEUGEOT 301, PEUGEOT 3008 SUV, plus the new PEUGEOT Boxer and PEUGEOT Expert, not to mention the latest PEUGEOT Partner. In 2018, Argentina can expect the PEUGEOT 5008 SUV, PEUGEOT Traveller eight-seater, and special editions of the 208, 2008, 308 and Expert.



STAGE 12 (Thursday 18 January) :
CHILECITO > SAN JUAN. 791 kilometres, of which 522 are competitive
This stage is composed of two competitive sections (lasting 262 and 260 kilometres) which together will represent the longest timed section of the rally. Navigation will be key to making it successfully through the many river crossings, which can have serious consequences if not negotiated properly.