It is a great joy to see Stephane Peterhansel reaching the top step of the Dakar Rally 2016 podium. This was his 12th victory of the legendary race. Although it seemed very hard at the beginning, his experince and mechanical dominance of the new Peugeot 2008DKR16 buggy overcame those difficulties constantly present at the Dakar rally.
Carlos Sainz was running uninterrupted. A serious malfunction forced him to retire a stage before the end. Too bad.
Cyril Despres was running smooth, steady pace placed him 7th overall. It’s a great success for a former motorcycle Dakar champion. His career is far from over.
After a blasting start on a smooth (almost WRC style) surface, Sebastian Loeb had a major accident. Second week of the race was a bit more bumpy. Loeb and Elena failed to see a ditch, it resulted in a rollover. The mishap downgraded them to 18th place overall. Nine-time WRC champion managed to soften the situation eventually, he finished 9th overall.
Dominance of Peugeot was significant between 1987 and 1990. French brand reached for the stars in 2015 but without much success. They never made it to Top 10. But this year the victory was an amazing surprise. We realize it is to be expected from top teams to have at last two-three cars in top 10 overall. But no one could have predicted the success of Peugeot after a disappointing performance in 2015. With a few major problems, Peugeot managed to put three of their cars in top 10.
- 302 Stephane Peterhansel / Jean-Paul Cottret – Peugeot
- 300 Nasser Al-Attiyah / Matthieu Baumel – Mini
- 301 Giniel de Villiers / Dirk von Zitzewitz – Toyota
- 315 Mikko Hirvonen / Michel Perin – Mini
- 319 Leeroy Poulter / Robert Howie – Toyota
- 304 Nani Roma / Alex Haro – Mini
- 321 Cyril Despres / David Castera – Peugeot
- 307 Vladimir Vasyliev / Konstantin Zhiltsov – Toyota
- 314 Sebastian Loeb /Daniel Elena – Peugeot
- 323 Harry Hunt / Andy Schulz – Mini