Peterhansel WINS Dakar rally

Buenos Aires (Argentina), 16 January 2017

It is the toughest rally in the world: the Dakar rally. And a man not enough seems to get it. Record champion Stéphane Peterhansel won already the desert marathon race for the 13th time. On his seventh success in the car Peterhansel had to resist but the attacks of a further record holder up to the last meter. We summarize the rally Dakar 2017 (January 2 to 14) for you.

Peugeot against Toyota and mini

Even before the start in Buenos Aires was clear: the victory in the 39. Dakar rally will probably only on one of the four new Peugeot 3008 DKR. With a line-up, which was full of Dakar winners and rally world champions, the French had not saved in addition to the best car behind the steering wheel. In addition to Stéphane Peterhansel received the ex-Dakar motorcycle winner of Cyril Despres and the two rally expert Sébastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz for Peugeot at the start. Toyota, with Nani Roma and Nasser Al-Attiyah, also had a few irons in the fire. Among other ex-professional rally driver Mikko Hirvonen at the start went for mini. The Dakar rally started and ended in Buenos Aires. A total of 9,000 kilometres took participants through Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.

Loeb against Peterhansel

As the clear favorite, Stéphane Peterhansel rolled over the launching pad of the Argentine capital. But Al-Attiyah in the Toyota was for the first time. Unfortunately, the Saudi as well as Carlos Sainz in the further course of the rally had to give up after an accident. The further the competition progressed, the duel at the top became more clear: Sébastien Loeb was faster than Peterhansel, lost time however always again due to navigation errors and minor technical defects. Desert Fox Peterhansel also drove a clever strategy and could more safely navigate through South America. "Sébastien has demanded all us, we had to go every day to our limit. But thanks to my passenger I made fewer errors", summed up his win Peterhansel. Loeb only remains to congratulate his brand colleagues: "congratulations to Stéphane. His experience has won, even if we were faster".

Rain led to chaos

The 2017er Edition of the Dakar should be a tougher nut to crack again according to the organisers, after 2016 some teams on audits carried out "light" had complains. And the organizers kept right: with a greatly shortened roadbook and harder to taking waypoints they brought many participants in the bailout. The weather contributed to the Dakar 2017 its part: most extreme rainfall led to major floods and several cancelled special stages. Also, because the organizers decided to make the rescue workers trip, with locals, which suffered much under the water mass. Partly, "Bivouac" was called mobile paddock more than ankle-deep under water and at temperatures which at night just above the freezing point. But not only the difficult routes and many water led to problems some drivers did very difficult even with the sometimes extreme highs and the low oxygen content above 4,000 meters.

The top finishers

At the end, there was still enough time for a proper duel of Peterhansel against Loeb. Time winner Peterhansel could seven victory 13 celebrate at the Dakar, "thanks to" a tyre failure on the Peugeot of Loeb eventually in the car and six on motorcycle. Cyrils Despres in the Peugeot, who made a perfect triple victory for the French ended up on third. Peugeot began as a single team on a lightweight buggy with rear-wheel drive, while all other brands on serious cyclists of all familiar. Anything other than a clear Peugeot success would have been a big surprise, because it was a flawless work usage. The fourth spot went to Nani Roma in the Toyota, Le Mans winner drove a respectable eighth place Romain Dumas with his privately-entered Peugeot 2008 DKR one. Best German was co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz, who has navigated his driver of Giniel de Villers in the Toyota at number five. Rallye-, sports car and Bergrenn winner Loeb must continue to wait on his first Dakar victory. We are looking forward to the 40th edition in the year 2018! (mf)