Nine-time WRC champion Sebastian Loeb took his second stage victory yesterday. It is his first time competing at the Dakar rally 2016 and it is obviously a good retirement plan. After a decision to leave the WRC world, he was immediately invited to be a Peugot factory driver at the Dakar 2016. Whether Nasser Al-Attiyah likes it or not, Loeb is leading. By the way, Nasser’s opinion is that Loeb and his fellow debutant Mikko Hirvonen need a bit more experience before joining the top elite. Is it jealousy talking?
Mikko Hirvonen, another WRC debutant joined the Axion X-Raid Mini team this year and finished the third stage on 5th place, which is five places ahead of Nasser. Hirvonen was quicker than all of his Mini teammates. There’s a lot of new faces at the Top 10 Dakar players this year, including Martin Prokop. He’s a Czech WRC driver, he finished the stage 10th.
I am amazed with the Performance of new Peugeot DKR cars. But what will the situation be tomorrow once the cars have completed the first 1,200 kilometres of the rally? Will they still be reliable? What about the tyres, which tend to suffer more than on a four wheel drive? There are plenty of questions to be answered about the machines, staff and drives of the Lion brand… We’ll see what Nasser has to say about it!
The competitors are driving the 4th stage at the moment, well, third stage actually, since the opening stage was cancelled. Here are the overall results after the special stage no. 3. Former WRC champion Seabstian Loeb is in the lead. Giniel de Villiers who is known for very careful driving is following him. Is it possible that Stephane Peterhansel joined the winning team once again? This could be another great performance in his Dakar history. He won the rally 11 times, can he do it again? MINI teammates Mikko Hirvonen and Nasser Al-Attiyah took the 4th and 5th position overall. It seems there’s going to be one hell of a fight in the top 10. Let’s wait and see.
- 314 Sebastien Loeb / Daniel Elena – Peugeot
- 301 Giniel de Villiers / Dirk von Zitzewitz – Toyota
- 302 Stephane Peterhansel / Jean-Paul Cottret – Peugeot
- 315 Mikko Hirvonen / Michel Perin – Mini
- 300 Nasser Al-Attiyah / Matthieu Baumel – Mini
- 319 Leeroy Poulter / Robert Howie – Toyota
- 311 Bernhard ten Brinke / Tom Colsoul – Toyota
- 307 Vladimir Vasilyev / Konstantin Zhiltsov – Toyota
- 321 Cyril Despres / David Castera – Peugeot
- 303 Carlos Sainz / Lucas Cruz – Peugeot