From 9th in ‘16 to 2nd in ‘17, plus staying on the...

From 9th in ‘16 to 2nd in ‘17, plus staying on the road – Sébastien Loeb is pleased with his Dakar

Sébastien Loeb, Dakar, Dakar Rally
Sebastien Loeb and Stephane Peterhansel / Source: Red Bull Media House

Ninth place last year, second in 2017 – Sébastien Loeb made a great improvement on his second appearance in the Dakar Rally

“Plus we stayed on the piste this time”, laughed the 9-time WRC champion after the final. “We did a couple of navigation mistakes0 but considering how complex this Dakar was, we did well overall. There was a mechanical issue at the start and it delayed us. We tried to make up for it afterwards. We finish second overall with a small time gap… It is what it is. We were really fast on the piste; it was a bit trickier off-piste but we saw we have the potential. We need to do better next time! I don’t think I can do as much rally-raid as [Stéphane] Peterhansel though, But yes, the objective is to win the Dakar one day. As for now, we’re going to enjoy this moment and this Peugeot podium.”

“It was a good event for us and, even though we ended up second, we were in the thick of the fight for first place from start to finish. It was very exciting because we were flat out all the time, especially on the anti-penultimate and penultimate stages. A tremendous rally. It’s a shame our scrap ended when I had a puncture (on Friday). Overall, we had great fun and we ended up second on what turned out to be a highly complex event, while Peugeot ended up first, second and third. That’s an extraordinary team result!”

Peugeot scored a triple podium as Cyril Depres was third after Stéphane Peterhasel and Sébastien Loeb

“After such an emphatic win, it obviously was a positive event for us”, Peugeot’s sport director Bruno Famin said. “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 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. We functioned as a single unit and team spirit prevailed, not only on the rally but also during the design, preparation and servicing of the cars.”

“The drivers and co-drivers never hesitated to help each other out, to an even greater extent than last year. Everybody feared this year’s Dakar – justifiably in my opinion. This tension led the members of the team to work even more closely together and the reward is a fantastic overall team result. As far as the car is concerned, the biggest step forward was its reliability. We didn’t have any mechanical issues, with the exception of a small problem which, it can be said, deprived Loeb and [Daniel] Elena of the win. All our work upstream of the event paid off in the form of enhanced performance. I know it can bring added stress but, for me, the thought of issuing team orders was inconceivable. As a result, everyone was able to savour the intensity of the fight to the end, including with the crews themselves!”